Sulfakinins reduce food intake in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria

J Insect Physiol. 2000 Sep 1;46(9):1259-1265. doi: 10.1016/s0022-1910(00)00046-9.


In vertebrates, the peptides cholecystokinin (CCK), neuropeptide Y, galanin, and bombesin are known to be involved in the control of food intake. We report here that insect sulfakinins, peptides which display substantial sequence similarities with the vertebrate gastrin/CCK peptide family, significantly inhibit food uptake in fifth instar nymphs of the locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Upon injection of Lom-sulfakinin, a neuropeptide present in the corpus cardiacum of locusts, food intake was significantly reduced in a dose-dependent manner within a fixed 20 min time period. The induced effect ranged from 13% inhibition (10 pmol of injected peptide) to over 50% inhibition at 1 nmol. Other naturally occurring sulfakinins from different insect species also elicited this satiety effect. Analogous to the satiety effect of CCK in vertebrates, the sulfate group is required for activity. No effect on the palptip resistance was found after injection with sulfakinin. Therefore it seems unlikly that sulfakinins reduce food intake by decreasing the sensitivity of the taste receptors.