Oxyntomodulin is derived from proglucagon processing in the intestine and the central nervous system. To date, no role in the central nervous system has been demonstrated. We report here that oxyntomodulin inhibits refeeding when injected intracerebroventricularly and into the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of 24-h fasted rats [intracerebroventricularly and into the paraventricular nucleus, 1 h, oxyntomodulin (1 nmol), 3.1 +/- 0.5 g; saline, 6.2 +/- 0.4 g; P < 0.005]. In addition, oxyntomodulin inhibits food intake in nonfasted rats injected at the onset of the dark phase (intracerebroventricularly, 1 h: oxyntomodulin, 3 nmol, 1.1 +/- 0.19 g vs. saline, 2.3 +/- 0.2 g; P < 0.05). This effect of oxyntomodulin on feeding is of a similar time course and magnitude as that of an equimolar dose of glucagon-like peptide-1. Other proglucagon-derived products investigated [glucagon, glicentin (intracerebroventricularly, 3 nmol; into the paraventricular nucleus, 1 nmol), and spacer peptide-1 (intracerebroventricularly and into the paraventricular nucleus, 3 nmol)] had no effect on feeding at any time point examined. The anorectic effect of oxyntomodulin (intracerebroventricularly, 3 nmol; into the paraventricular nucleus, 1 nmol) was blocked when it was coadministered with the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor antagonist, exendin-(9-39) (intracerebroventricularly, 100 nmol; into the paraventricular nucleus, 10 nmol). However, oxyntomodulin has a lower affinity for the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor compared with glucagon-like peptide-1 (IC(50): oxyntomodulin, 8.2 nM; glucagon-like peptide-1, 0.16 nM). One explanation for this is that there might be an oxyntomodulin receptor to which exendin-(9-39) can also bind and act as an antagonist.