Localization of hypothalamic insulin receptor in neonatal chicks: evidence for insulinergic system control of feeding behavior

Neurosci Lett. 2011 Mar 24;491(3):177-80. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.01.031. Epub 2011 Jan 19.


Feeding behavior is managed by various neuropeptides and/or neurotransmitters within the central nervous system in vertebrates. It is proposed that central insulin acts as the negative-feedback regulator of appetite via the central melanocortin system in neonatal chicks. The present study investigated the localization of insulin receptors in the chick hypothalamus using immunohistochemistry. Immunostaining revealed hypothalamic neuron expressing insulin receptors in the paraventricular nucleus, ventromedial hypothalamus, lateral hypothalamus and infundibular nucleus, the avian equivalent of the mammalian arcuate nucleus. Additionally, double-staining immunohistochemistry in the infundibular nucleus revealed the presence of insulin receptors in both α-melanocyto stimulating hormone and neuropeptide Y neurons. Immunohistological analysis indicates that the insulinergic system in the chick hypothalamus contributes to feeding behavior and this system regulates both anorexigenic and orexigenic neuropeptides. Furthermore, the mechanisms of central insulin induced-feeding behavior contributes to the regulation of the melanocortin system in the chick infundibular nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Chickens
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Receptor, Insulin / biosynthesis*


  • Receptor, Insulin