Apelin is the recently identified endogenous ligand for the G-protein-coupled receptor, APJ. Preproapelin and APJ mRNA are found in hypothalamic regions known to be important in the regulation of food and water intake, and pituitary hormone release. The effects of intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of pyroglutamylated apelin-13 on food and water intake and pituitary hormone release in rats were investigated. Apelin-13 had little effect on food intake, but dose-dependently increased drinking behaviour and water intake at 1 h. Apelin-13 (10 nmol) increased water intake by up to sixfold compared to saline. Compared to saline control, apelin-13 (10 nmol) significantly increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone and decreased plasma prolactin, LH and FSH at 30 min. In vitro, apelin-13 stimulated the release of CRH and AVP from hypothalamic explants, but had no effect on NPY release. These results suggest that apelin may play an important role in the hypothalamic regulation of water intake and endocrine axes.
(C)2002 Elsevier Science (USA).