The hindbrain is a site of energy balance action for prolactin-releasing peptide: feeding and thermic effects from GPR10 stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius/area postrema

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2018 Aug;235(8):2287-2301. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-4925-5. Epub 2018 May 23.


Purpose: Prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) is a neuropeptide that suppresses food intake and increases body temperature when delivered to the forebrain ventricularly or parenchymally. However, PrRP's receptor GPR10 is widely distributed throughout the brain with particularly high levels found in the dorsomedial hindbrain. Thus, we hypothesized that hindbrain-directed PrRP administration would affect energy balance and motivated feeding behavior.

Methods: To address this hypothesis, a range of behavioral and physiologic variables were measured in Sprague-Dawley rats that received PrRP delivered to the fourth ventricle (4V) or the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) at the level of the area postrema (AP).

Results: 4V PrRP delivery decreased chow intake and body weight, in part, through decreasing meal size in ad libitum maintained rats tested at dark onset. PrRP inhibited feeding when delivered to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), but not to more ventral hindbrain structures. In addition, 4V as well as direct NTS administration of PrRP increased core temperature. By contrast, 4V PrRP did not reduce ad libitum intake of highly palatable food or the motivation to work for or seek palatable foods.

Conclusions: The dorsomedial hindbrain and NTS/AP, in particular, are sites of action in PrRP/GPR10-mediated control of chow intake, core temperature, and body weight.

Keywords: Body temperature; Food intake; Hyperthermia; NTS; Reward.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Postrema / drug effects
  • Area Postrema / metabolism*
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Male
  • Microinjections / methods
  • Prolactin-Releasing Hormone / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Solitary Nucleus / drug effects
  • Solitary Nucleus / metabolism*


  • Prlhr protein, mouse
  • Prolactin-Releasing Hormone
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled