The central nucleus of the amygdala (CNA) and the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) are important in the regulation of ingestive behavior. We evaluated whether opioid-opioid signaling between the CNA and rostral NTS (rNTS) affect feeding behavior. To test this, rats were doubly cannulated with one cannula placed in the rNTS and one cannula in the CNA, allowing for co-administration of an opioid agonist into one site and an opioid antagonist into the other. Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-(me) Phe-Gly-ol (DAMGO) (2 nmol) injected into the CNA (CNA DAMGO) increased feeding more than two-fold compared to the vehicle-injected rats. This increase in food intake was blocked when doses of 26.5 and 79 nmol of naltrexone (NTX) were injected into the rNTS. In the reverse situation, rNTS DAMGO increased food intake above control levels, and CNA NTX blocked DAMGO-induced feeding when administrated in doses of 26.5 and 79 nmol. This suggests that a bi-directional opioid-opioid signaling pathway exists between the CNA and the rNTS which influences feeding via μ-opioid receptors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the General Research Funds of the Veterans Administration Medical Center, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Grant DK 50456 and by the National Institute of Drug Abuse Grant DA-03999. We thank Jim Pomonis and Martha Grace for their technical assistance.
- Central nucleus of the amygdala
- Food intake
- Nucleus of the solitary tract