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Neuropeptide Y restores appetite and alters concentrations of GH after central administration to endotoxic sheep.

The objective of this study was to determine whether neuropeptide Y (NPY) and recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) would: first, increase food intake; secondly, decrease concentrations of GH; thirdly, reduce GHRH-induced release of GH; and fourthly, reduce changes to concentrations of IGF-I in plasma during experimental endotoxemia in sheep. Six treatments were given to six castrated male sheep in a 6x6 Latin square treatment order. Osmotic mini-pumps were implanted at 0 h and a jugular vein was cannulated. Each sheep was continuously infused with saline (0.9%) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (20 micrograms/kg per 24 h, s.c.) at 10 microliters/h for 72 h via the osmotic mini-pumps. Blood samples (3 ml) were collected at 15-min intervals from 24 to 33 h. At 26 h, one of three treatments (artificial cerebrospinal fluid, NPY or IL-1ra) was injected i.c.v. within 30 s (0.3 microgram/kg), then infused i.c.v. from 26 to 33 h (600 microliters/h) at 0.3 microgram/kg per h. GHRH was injected i.v. (0.075 microgram/kg) at 32 h after which blood samples were collected at 5, 10, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min. Feed intake was reduced up to 50% for 48 h in LPS-treated compared with non-LPS-treated sheep. NPY restored feed intake in LPS-treated sheep and induced hyperphagia in non-LPS-treated sheep from 24 to 48 h. In contrast, IL-1ra did not affect appetite. Injection of NPY increased concentrations of GH from 26 to 27 h, while IL-1ra had no effect. Infusion of NPY suppressed GHRH-induced release of GH. However, no treatment altered pulse secretion parameters of GH. Concentrations of IGF-I were 20% higher at 72 h in LPS-treated sheep given NPY than in sheep treated with LPS alone, and this may reflect increased appetite from 24 to 48 h. We concluded that reduced appetite during endotoxemia is due to down-regulation of an NPY-mediated mechanism. Furthermore, NPY stimulates release of GH in healthy sheep, does not reduce pulse secretion parameters of GH, but does suppress GHRH-induced release of GH in endotoxic sheep. Therefore, NPY may be an important neurotransmitter linking appetite with regulation of GH during endotoxemic and healthy states in sheep.

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