A large body of evidence suggests that endogenous opioids are involved in the regulation of feeding. As the striatum and globus pallidus have relatively high concentrations of opioid receptors, these areas are possible sites of action for the stimulatory effects of opiates on feeding. To test these possibilities, male rats were lesioned bilaterally in the globus pallidus or striatum. Nocturnal food intake was then measured after the subcutaneous administration of the opiate antagonist, naloxone (0-10 mg/kg). Spontaneous daytime intake was measured after the subcutaneous administration of the kappa opiate agonist ketocyclazocine (0-10 mg/kg). Neither pallidal nor striatal lesions affected the sensitivity of naloxone in reducing food intake. On the other hand, both lesioned groups were 10-100 times less sensitive to the stimulatory effects of ketocyclazocine. These results suggest that the globus pallidus and striatum may be target areas for the stimulatory effects of exogenous opiates on food intake. Additionally, the relationship of these areas to the dopaminergic nigrostriatal tract suggests that feeding regulation may involve an interaction between dopaminergic and opioid systems.
- Globus pallidus