Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a powerful stimulant of food intake and is proposed to activate a hypothalamic 'feeding' receptor distinct from previously cloned Y-type receptors. This receptor was first suggested to explain a feeding response to NPY and related peptides, including NPY2-36, that differed from their activities at the Y1 receptor. Here we report the expression cloning of a novel Y-type receptor from rat hypothalamus, which we name Y5. The complementary DNA encodes a 456-amino-acid protein with less than 35% overall identity to known Y-type receptors. The messenger RNA is found primarily in the central nervous system, including the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. The extent to which selected peptides can inhibit adenylate cyclase through the Y5 receptor and stimulate food intake in rats correspond well. Our data support the idea that the Y5 receptor is the postulated 'feeding' receptor, and may provide a new method for the study and treatment of obesity and eating disorders.