Central nervous system neuropeptide Y signaling via the Y1 receptor partially dissociates feeding behavior from lipoprotein metabolism in lean rats.


Elevated plasma triglyceride (TG) levels contribute to an atherogenic dyslipidemia that is associated with obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Numerous models of obesity are characterized by increased central nervous system (CNS) neuropeptide Y (NPY) tone that contributes to excess food intake and obesity. Previously, we demonstrated that intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of NPY in lean fasted rats also elevates hepatic production of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-TG. Thus, we hypothesize that elevated CNS NPY action contributes to not only the pathogenesis of obesity but also dyslipidemia. Here, we sought to determine whether the effects of NPY on feeding and/or obesity are dissociable from effects on hepatic VLDL-TG secretion. Pair-fed, icv NPY-treated, chow-fed Long-Evans rats develop hypertriglyceridemia in the absence of increased food intake and body fat accumulation compared with vehicle-treated controls. We then modulated CNS NPY signaling by icv injection of selective NPY receptor agonists and found that Y1, Y2, Y4, and Y5 receptor agonists all induced hyperphagia in lean, ad libitum chow-fed Long-Evans rats, with the Y2 receptor agonist having the most pronounced effect. Next, we found that at equipotent doses for food intake NPY Y1 receptor agonist had the most robust effect on VLDL-TG secretion, a Y2 receptor agonist had a modest effect, and no effect was observed for Y4 and Y5 receptor agonists. These findings, using selective agonists, suggest the possibility that the effect of CNS NPY signaling on hepatic VLDL-TG secretion may be relatively dissociable from effects on feeding behavior via the Y1 receptor.