Cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin are two important satiety factors that are considered to act in synergy to reduce meal size. Peripheral injection of CCK activates neurones in several hypothalamic nuclei, including the supraoptic (SON) and paraventricular (PVN) nuclei and neurones in the brainstem of fed rats. We investigated whether peripheral leptin would modulate the effects of CCK on neuronal activity in the hypothalamus and brainstem of fasted rats by investigating Fos expression in the PVN, SON, arcuate nucleus, ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), area postrema (AP) and the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS). Male rats, fasted for 24 h, received either one i.p. injection of vehicle, leptin or CCK-8 alone, or received one injection of vehicle or leptin before an i.p. injection of CCK-8. We found that CCK increased Fos expression in the PVN and SON as well as in the NTS and AP, but had no effect on Fos expression in the arcuate nucleus, VMH or DMH compared to vehicle. Leptin injected alone significantly increased Fos expression in the arcuate nucleus but had no effect on Fos expression in the VMH, DMH, SON, PVN, AP or NTS compared to vehicle. Fos expression was significantly increased in the AP in rats injected with both leptin and CCK compared to rats injected with vehicle and CCK. Unexpectedly, there was significantly less Fos expression in the PVN and SON of fasted rats injected with leptin and CCK than in rats injected with vehicle and CCK, suggesting that leptin attenuated CCK-induced Fos expression in the SON and PVN. However, Fos expression in the NTS was similar in fasted rats injected with vehicle and CCK or with leptin and CCK. Taken together, these results suggest that leptin dampens the effects of CCK on Fos expression in the SON and PVN, independently from NTS pathways, and this may reflect a direct action on magnocellular neurones.
- area postrema