Neuropeptide Y (NPY), a 36-amino-acid neuromodulator abundantly expressed in the brain1, has been implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight2–4. Pharmacological data suggest that NPY's stimulatory effect on appetite is transduced by the G-protein-coupled NPY Y5 receptor5 (Y5R). We have inactivated the Y5R gene in mice and report that younger Y5R-null mice feed and grow normally; however, they develop mild late-onset obesity characterized by increased body weight, food intake and adiposity. Fasting-induced refeeding is unchanged in younger Y5R-null mice and they exhibit normal sensitivity to leptin. Their response to intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of NPY and related peptides is either reduced or absent. NPY deficiency attenuates the obesity syndrome of mice deficient for leptin6 (ob/ob), but these effects are not mediated by NPY signaling through the Y5R because Y5R-null ob/ob mice are equally obese. These results demonstrate that the Y5R contributes to feeding induced by centrally administered NPY and its analogs, but is not a critical physiological feeding receptor in mice.
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Marsh, D., Hollopeter, G., Kafer, K. et al. Role of the Y5 neuropeptide Y receptor in feeding and obesity. Nat Med 4, 718–721 (1998) doi:10.1038/nm0698-718
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