Background & aims: Central administration of neuropeptide Y (NPY) enhances bile secretion through vagal pathways in animal models. NPY nerve fibers and receptors are localized in the dorsal vagal complex (DVC), and retrograde tracing techniques have shown that hepatic vagal nerves are projected mainly from the left DVC. However, nothing is known about the central sites of action for NPY to elicit bile secretion. The medullary sites of the action for NPY were investigated in this study.
Methods: The bile duct was cannulated in urethane-anesthetized and bile acid-compensated rats. After measuring basal secretion, NPY was microinjected into the DVC and bile response was observed for 100 minutes. Either left or right cervical vagotomy or hepatic branch vagotomy was performed 2 hours before the peptide.
Results: Microinjection of NPY (7-30 pmol) into the left DVC, but not the right DVC, dose-dependently increased bile acid-independent and bicarbonate-dependent bile secretion. Stimulation of bile secretion by NPY was eliminated by left cervical and hepatic branch vagotomy but not by right cervical vagotomy.
Conclusions: NPY acts in the left DVC to stimulate bile acid-independent and bicarbonate-dependent bile secretion through the left cervical and hepatic vagus; these findings suggest that neuropeptides may act in the specific brain nuclei to regulate hepatic function.