Intraventricular neuropeptide Y decreases need-induced sodium appetite and increases pica in rats

Behav Neurosci. 1999 Aug;113(4):826-32.


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a potent endogenous stimulator of food intake. In addition to stimulating increased food intake, when paired with a novel-flavored solution, NPY produces an aversion to that flavor. Hence, exogenous NPY elicits 2 seemingly opposing behaviors, increased feeding and the formation of a conditioned taste aversion. One interpretation of these data is that NPY produces some form of malaise or visceral illness. NPY's orexigenic and malaise-inducing properties were tested in rats with 2 measures sensitive to malaise, increased kaolin consumption (pica behavior) and failure to express need-induced sodium intake. Administration of NPY resulted in increased food intake, increased kaolin consumption, and decreased need-induced sodium intake. These data support the hypothesis that exogenous NPY has both orexigenic and malaise-inducing properties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Kaolin
  • Male
  • Neuropeptide Y / administration & dosage
  • Neuropeptide Y / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Pica / chemically induced*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Sodium / deficiency*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Kaolin
  • Sodium