Central administration of the RFamide peptides, QRFP-26 and QRFP-43, increases high fat food intake in rats

Peptides. 2008 Nov;29(11):1994-2000. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2008.07.024. Epub 2008 Aug 13.


Pyrogultamylated arginine-phenylalanineamide peptide (QRFP) is strongly conserved across species and is a member of the family of RFamide-related peptides, with the motif Arg-Phe-NH(2) at the C-terminal end. The precursor peptide for QRFP generates a 26-amino acid peptide (QRFP-26) and a 43-amino acid peptide (QRFP-43), both of which bind to the G protein-coupled receptor, GPR103. Recently, QRFP has been characterized in rats, mice and humans and has been reported to have orexigenic properties. In rodents, prepro-QRFP mRNA is expressed in localized regions of the mediobasal hypothalamus, a region implicated in feeding behavior. Increased intake of a high fat diet contributes to increased weight gain and obesity. Therefore, the current experiments investigated the effects of QRFP administration in rats and the effects of a high fat diet on prepro-QRFP mRNA and GPR103 receptor mRNA levels. Intracerebroventricular administration of QRFP-26 (3.0nM, 5.0nM) and QRFP-43 (1.0nM, 3.0nM) dose-dependently increased 1h, 2h, and 4h cumulative intake of high fat (55% fat), but not low fat (10% fat) diet. In Experiment 2, hypothalamic prepro-QRFP mRNA levels and GPR103 receptor mRNA levels were measured in rats fed a high fat or a low fat diet for 21 days. Prepro-QRFP mRNA was significantly increased in the ventromedial nucleus/arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus of rats fed a high fat diet compared to those fed a low fat diet, while GPR103 mRNA levels were unchanged. These findings suggest that QRFP is a regulator of dietary fat intake and is influenced by the intake of a high fat diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides / administration & dosage
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Fats
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides
  • QRFP peptide
  • QRFP-26 peptide