Article ID: 0180127
Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a key regulator of muscle development and metabolism in chickens. Recently, we have demonstrated that intracerebroventricular administration of IGF-1 significantly decreased food intake in broiler chicks. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the IGF-1-induced anorexia and the anorexigenic effect of IGF-1 in different strains of commercial chicks have not been investigated. Neuropeptide Y (NPY, a hypothalamic orexigenic neuropeptide), agouti-related protein (AgRP, a hypothalamic orexigenic neuropeptide), and proopiomelanocortin (POMC, the precursor of hypothalamic anorexigenic neuropeptides) play important roles in the regulation of food intake in both mammals and chickens. Evidence shows that several cell signaling pathways in the hypothalamus are involved in regulating the feeding behavior of mammals. In the present study, we first investigated the effects of IGF-1 on the expression of appetite-regulating neuropeptides and phosphorylation of signaling molecules in the hypothalamus of broiler chicks. Intracerebroventricular administration of IGF-1 significantly increased the mRNA levels of POMC, whereas the mRNA levels of NPY and AgRP were not significantly altered. IGF-1 also significantly induced the phosphorylation of v-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT) in the hypothalamus of chicks, but did not influence the phosphorylation of forkhead box O1, S6 protein, AMP-activated protein kinase, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. We also compared the effect of IGF-1 on food intake in broiler chicks (a hyperphagic strain of chickens) and layer chicks. Results demonstrated that the threshold of IGF-1-induced anorexia in broiler chicks was higher than that in layer chicks. Our observations suggest that hypothalamic POMC and AKT may be involved in the IGF-1-induced anorexigenic pathway and that high threshold of IGF-1-induced anorexia in broiler chicks might be one of the causes of hyperphagia in broiler chicks. Overall, it appears that IGF-1 plays important roles in the central regulation of feeding behavior in chicks.