Recent studies using melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) knockout mice and MC4R antagonists have shown that weakening of MC4R-ergic tone increases food intake and causes obesity. In this study, we used the newly discovered selective MC4R antagonist HS014 for increasing food intake in free-feeding rats and evaluated the effects of the NPY Y1 receptor antagonist 1229U91 and the selective serotonin uptake inhibitor fluoxetine on this increased feeding behavior. 1229U91 (12 nmol, i.c.v.), which alone does not affect food intake, significantly attenuated the orexigenic effects of HS014, whereas 1 and 3 nmol doses of 1229U91 were ineffective. Fluoxetine, which has been shown to inhibit NPY release, inhibited spontaneous food intake and completely blocked the stimulation of food intake by HS014. These data suggest that feeding induced by weakening of the MC4R-ergic tone may be mediated through activation of the NPY-ergic system. This is the first report showing that physiological feeding response evoked by MC4R blockage is influenced by NPY signalling.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.