Melanocortin peptides affect the motivation to feed in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Research paper by Joachim J Schjolden, Helgi B HB Schiöth, Dan D Larhammar, Svante S Winberg, Earl T ET Larson

Indexed on: 26 Nov '08Published on: 26 Nov '08Published in: General and Comparative Endocrinology


In this study, we investigated the effects of one melanocortin receptor (MCR) agonist and two antagonists on food intake in juvenile rainbow trout. Baseline food intake was established prior to 1 microl intracerebroventricular injection (ICV) of the non-specific agonist MTII, the MC4R antagonist HS024 and the MC3/4R antagonist SHU9119 at concentrations of 0.3, 1 or 3 nM. Saline-injected fish and untreated fish served as controls. Changes in food intake were observed 1h after the ICV injections. Our results showed that treatment with MTII significantly decreased food intake at 3 nM compared to control, HS024 significantly increased food intake at 3 nM compared to control and saline-treated fish, and SHU9119 significantly increased food intake at 3 nM compared to saline-treated fish. In conclusion, our study provides further evidence, and hence strengthens the hypothesis, that MC4R participates in the control of energy balance in fish in the same manner as in mammals. Our findings that HS024 is more potent than SHU9119 in increasing food intake suggest that the effects of melanocortin on energy balance in rainbow trout are mainly regulated by activation of MC4R. Hence, HS024 seems an excellent tool as a MC4R antagonist in rainbow trout.