Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of adrenalectomy (ADX) and glucocorticoid in the changes induced by intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) on food intake and plasma parameters, as well as VIP receptor subtype 2 (VPAC2) mRNA expression in different hypothalamic nuclei of male rats.
Methods: Male Wistar rats (260-280 g) were subjected to ADX or sham surgery, 7 days before the experiments. Half of ADX animals received corticosterone (ADX + CORT) in the drinking water. Animals with 16 h of fasting received ICV microinjection of VIP or saline (0.9% NaCl). After 15 min: (1) animals were fed, and the amount of food ingested was quantified for 120 min; or (2) animals were euthanized and blood was collected for biochemical measurements. Determination of VPAC2 mRNA levels in LHA, ARC, and PVN was performed from animals with microinjection of saline.
Results: VIP treatment promoted the anorexigenic effect, which was not observed in ADX animals. Microinjection of VIP also induced an increase in blood plasma glucose and corticosterone levels, and a reduction in free fatty acid plasma levels, but adrenalectomy abolished these effects. In addition, adrenalectomy reduced mRNA expression of VPAC2 in the lateral hypothalamic area and arcuate nucleus, but not in the paraventricular nucleus.
Conclusions: These results suggest that adrenal glands are required for VIP-induced changes in food intake and plasma parameters, and these responses are associated with reduction in the expression of VPAC2 in the hypothalamus after adrenalectomy.
Keywords: Arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus; Corticosterone; Free fatty acids; Glycemia; VIP; VPAC2 receptor expression.