CORTICOTROPHIN RELEASING HORMONE MODULATION OF FEED INTAKE, GASTRIC MOTILITY, AND BEHAVIOR IN LOW AND HIGH BODY WEIGHT SELECTED LINES OF CHICKENS
The effect of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and related compounds on appetite, behavior, and gastric motility in lines of chickens, one selected for low body weight (LWS) and the other high body weight (HWS), was determined. Nucleotide sequence and expression patterns of the CRHr2 receptor, involved in appetite regulation, were also determined. Some individuals of the LWS line are anorexics and many die simply from not eating while some individuals in the HWS line are compulsive eaters and exhibit obesity. CRH is a 41 residue peptide that initiates an organismâs stress response and is a potent inhibitor of appetite. An ICV injection of CRH dose-dependently decreased feed intake in both lines but did not effect water intake. When CRH receptor antagonists were ICV injected an increase in feed intake in the LWS line but not in the HWS line was observed, however the appetite reducing effect of CRH was attenuated in the HWS line but not in the LWS line. The LWS line has higher concentration of corticosterone than does the HWS line. In both lines at all times treatment with CRH caused an increase in locomotion and no CRH-treated chicks from either line slept post injection. Chicks from the LWS line that were treated with CRH exhibited other anxiety related behaviors sooner than the HWS line. The LWS line showed a liner increase in crop emptying time as the dose of ICV CRH increased. The HWS line responded with a quadratic dose response to CRH treatment. Polymorphisms in the CRHr2 receptor were found in both lines in the same positions, thus we concluded these differences do not significantly contribute to body weight differences. However, differences detected in expression patterns between lines for the CRHr2 receptor may contribute to their different body weights. We conclude that differences in the CRH system, its concentrations and differential receptor action, of these two lines may be partly responsible for their altered body weight phenotype.