The orexigenic effect of urocortins (Ucns), namely Ucn 1, Ucn 2 and Ucn 3 through activation of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors, has been well characterized after injection into the brain but not in the periphery. We examined the role of CRF receptor subtype 2 (CRF2) in the regulation of food intake using intraperitoneal (ip) injection of Ucns and the selective CRF2 antagonist, astressin2-B, and CRF2 knockout (-/-) mice. Meal structures were monitored using an automated episodic solid food intake monitoring system. Ucn 2 (3, 10 or 30 μg/kg, ip) induced a rapid in onset, long lasting and dose-dependent decrease (38%, 66% and 86%, respectively at 4 h) of cumulative food intake after an overnight fast in mice. Ucn 3 anorexic effect was 10-times less potent. Astressin2-B (30 or 100 μg/kg) injected ip, but not intracerebroventricularly, blocked the inhibitory effect of ip Ucn 1 and Ucn 2 (10 μg/kg). Fasted CRF2-/- mice did not respond to ip Ucn 1 (10 μg/kg). Meal microstructure analysis of the 4-h re-feeding response to an overnight fast showed that Ucn 2 (10 μg/kg, ip) decreased meal size and duration, but increased meal frequency. In mice fed ad libitum, Ucn 2 (30 μg/kg) injected ip before the dark phase decreased the 4-h nocturnal meal size and duration without influencing meal frequency while the 10 μg/kg dose had no effect. These data indicate that Ucns, through peripheral CRF2 receptor-mediated induction of satiation, inhibit the eating response to a fast more potently than the physiological nocturnal feeding in mice. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Astressin -B 2
- Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor
- Food intake
- Meal pattern