Role of dorsomedial hypothalamic neuropeptide Y in modulating food intake and energy balance

Liang Yang, Karen A. Scott, Jayson Hyun, Kellie L. Tamashiro, Nancy Tray, Timothy H. Moran, Sheng Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies have suggested that neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) serves as an important signaling peptide in the regulation of energy balance. To elucidate such actions, we used the adenoassociated virus (AAV) system to alter Npy gene expression in the DMH and examined the effects of these alterations on food intake and energy balance as well as explored its downstream signaling pathway. We found that AAV-mediated overexpression of NPY in the DMH of lean rats increased food intake and body weight, and exacerbated high-fat diet-induced obesity. Knockdown of NPY expression in the DMH via AAV-mediated RNA interference ameliorated the hyperphagia, obesity, and diabetes of Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats. NPY knockdown in the DMH produced a nocturnal and meal size-specific feeding effect. Moreover, we found that knockdown of DMH NPY expression in intact rats reduced NPY content in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus and affected within-meal satiation. DMH NPY knockdown increased the feeding inhibitory and NTS c-Fos responses to peripheral administration of cholecystokinin. Together, these results indicate that DMH NPY plays an important role in modulating food intake and energy balance and its dysregulation causes disordered energy balance leading to obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-190
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2009


  • Adenoassociated virus
  • Feeding
  • Hypothalamus
  • Nucleus of the solitary tract
  • Obesity
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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