Published November 1, 1979 - More info
Under certain conditions, exogenously administered cholecystokinin (CCK) or its COOH-terminal octapeptide can terminate feeding and cause behavioral satiety in animals. Furthermore, high concentrations of CCK are normally found in the brains of vertebrate species. It has thus been hypothesized that brain CCK plays a role in the control of appetite. To explore this possibility, a COOH-terminal radioimmunoassay was used to measure concentrations of CCK in the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, and brain stem of rats and mice after a variety of nutritional manipulations. CCK, mainly in the form of its COOH-terminal octapeptide, was found to appear in rat brain shortly before birth and to increase rapidly in cortex and brain stem throughout the first 5 wk of life. Severe early undernutrition had no effect on the normal pattern of CCK development in rat brain. Adult rats deprived of food for up to 72 h and rats made hyperphagic with highly palatable diets showed no alterations in brain CCK concentrations or distribution of molecular forms of CCK as determined by Sephadex gel filtration of brain extracts. Normal CCK concentrations were also found in the brains of four strains of genetically obese rodents and in the brains of six animals made hyperphagic and obese by surgical or chemical lesioning of the ventromedial hypothalamus. It is concluded that despite extreme variations in the nutritional status of rats and mice, CCK concentrations in major structures of the brain are maintained with remarkable constancy.