The intake of food by rats was measured after unilateral injections of opioid peptides into or near the central nucleus of the amygdala. The selective mu receptor agonist Tyrd-Ala-Gly-(Me)Phe-Gly-ol (DAGO) caused an increase in intake of food at doses of 1 and 3 nmol. Injections into the amygdala of [d-Ser2,Leu5]enkephalin-Thr6 (DSLET), a selective delta agonist, and dynorphin A, a selective kappa agonist, were ineffective at doses up to 3 nmol. However, dynorphin (2 nmol) did increase intake when injected into the medial hypothalamus. Bilateral injections of DAGO into the amygdala were no more effective than unilateral injections. The effect of DAGO was blocked by injections into the amygdala of naloxone or β-chlornaltrexamine, an ultralong-lasting opioid receptor antagonist. These studies suggest that mu opioid receptors in the amygdala contribute to the regulation of intake of food. A role for kappa and delta receptors was not established but cannot be ruled out without further testing.
- food intake
- opioid receptors