Behavioral, neuroendocrine and thermoregulatory actions of apelin-13

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As the distribution of apelinergic neurons in the brain suggests an important role of apelin-13 in the regulation of neuroendocrine processes, in the present experiments the effects of this recently identified neuropeptide on the open-field activity, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system and the body temperature were investigated. I.c.v. administration of apelin-13 (1-10 μg) to rats caused significant increases in square crossing, rearing, plasma corticosterone release and core temperature, whereas it did not influence the spontaneous motor activity during telemetric observation. To determine the mediation of the actions of apelin, a corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) antagonist, the nonselective dopamine antagonist haloperidol, the selective dopamine D1 receptor antagonist SCH-23390 and the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor Nω-nitro-l-arginine-methyl ester (l-NAME) were administered to the rats. The apelin-evoked HPA activation was diminished by preadministration of the CRH antagonist, while the dopamine antagonist and l-NAME attenuated only the square crossing and rearing induced by apelin-13. To characterize the transmission of the thermoregulatory action of apelin, animals were pretreated either with l-NAME, the CRH antagonist or with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor noraminophenazone. l-NAME and the CRH antagonist did not cause significant inhibition of the apelin-evoked increase in core temperature, while the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, applied 30 min before peptide treatment, did not prove effective in preventing the apelin-evoked thermoregulatory response, whereas when it was administered 2 h after the peptide treatment, it transiently and significantly reduced the hyperthermic response. The present data suggest that apelin-13 plays an important role in the regulation of behavioral, endocrine and homeostatic responses in the CNS, and dopamine, nitric oxide and prostaglandins seem to take part in the mediation of its effects. Since the corticosterone response could be blocked by the CRH antagonist, it is likely to be mediated through the activation of the CRH neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-816
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2004


  • HPA axis
  • open-field behavior
  • telemetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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