Behavioral effects of naloxone on neuropeptide Y-induced feeding

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We evaluated the effect of naloxone on neuropeptide Y (NPY)-induced feeding behavior using two methods; operant chambers and observational analysis. In the first study rats were trained on a FR 80 (first pellet) FR 3 (subsequent pellets) reinforcement schedule. Following training, rats were injected with NPY (intraventricular, 5 μg) and various doses of naloxone (subcutaneous, 0, 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg). NPY signifcantly increased the number of pellets consumed during the one hour session and naloxone (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg) blocked this effect. NPY failed to alter the time to the first response, but did decrease the time needed to complete the first ratio (FR 80). Naloxone (3 and 10 mg/kg) increased the latency to the first response and blacked NPY's effect on completion of the first ratio. In the second study, we observed rats continually following injection of saline, NPY (5 μg ICV) and/or naloxone (1 mg/kg SC). NPY increased food intake during the 1-h session and naloxone blocked this effect. NPY decreased the latency to eat, but naloxone failed to significantly antagonize this effect. The amount of time spent eating was greater in the NPY group compared to the saline group and naloxone antagonized this effect. Lag sequential analysis indicated that NPY induced a move-eat-move behavioral sequence that disappeared following naloxone administration. These data lend support to the notion that opioids are involved in maintenance of NPY-induced feeding but affect meal initiation in a minor way. Only relatively high doses of naloxone (3 and 10 mg/kg) altered NPY-induced changes in meal initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-777
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs. by National Institute of Drug Abuse Grant DA-03999. and by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Grant DK-42698.


  • Induced feeding
  • Naloxone
  • Neuropeptide Y


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