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    Exposure to high ambient temperatures (HAT) is associated with increased mortality, weight loss, immunosuppression, and metabolic malfunction in birds, all of which are likely downstream effects of reduced food intake. While the mechanisms mediating the physiological responses to HAT are documented, the neural mechanisms mediating behavioral responses are poorly understood. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate the hypothalamic mechanisms mediating heat-induced anorexia in four-day old broiler chicks. In Experiment 1, chicks exposed to HAT reduced food intake for the duration of exposure compared to controls in a thermoneutral environment (TN). In Experiment 2, HAT chicks that were administered an intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of neuropeptide Y (NPY) increased food intake for 60 min post-injection, while TN chicks that received NPY increased food intake for 180 min post-injection. In Experiment 3, chicks in both the TN and HAT groups that received ICV injections of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) reduced food intake for up to 180 min post-injection. In Experiment 4, chicks that were exposed to HAT and received an ICV injection of astressin ate the same as controls in the TN group. In Experiment 5, chicks exposed to HAT that received an ICV injection of α-melanocyte stimulating hormone reduced food intake at both a high and low dose, with the low dose not reducing food intake in TN chicks. In Experiment 6, there was increased c-Fos expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), and the nucleus of the hippocampal commissure (NHpC). In Experiment 7, exposure to HAT was associated with decreased CRF mRNA in the NHpC, increased CRF mRNA in the PVN, and decreased NPY mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (ARC). In sum, these results demonstrate that exposure to HAT causes a reduction in food intake that is likely mediated via downregulation of NPY via the CRF system. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Mark Bohler, Elizabeth R Gilbert, Mark A Cline. Reduced food intake during exposure to high ambient temperatures is associated with molecular changes in the nucleus of the hippocampal commissure and the paraventricular and arcuate hypothalamic nuclei. General and comparative endocrinology. 2020 Nov 01;298:113576

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    PMID: 32735796

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