Pontine parabrachial nucleus (PBN) neurons integrate visceral, oral, and other sensory information, playing an integral role in the neural control of feeding. Current experiments probed whether lateral PBN (lPBN) leptin receptor (LepRb) signaling contributes to this function. Intra-lPBN leptin microinjection significantly reduced cumulative chow intake, average meal size, and body weight in rats, independent of effects on locomotor activity or gastric emptying. In contrast to the effects observed following LepRb activation in other nuclei, lPBN LepRb stimulation did not affect progressive ratio responding for sucrose reward or conditioned place preference for a palatable food. Collectively, results suggest that lPBN LepRb activation reduces food intake by modulating the neural processing of meal size/satiation signaling, and highlight the lPBN as a novel site of action for leptin-mediated food intake control.
Keywords: PBN; food intake; leptin; meal size; obesity.
Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.