The role of central CB2 cannabinoid receptors on food intake in neonatal chicks.
ABSTRACT The endocannabinoids (ECBs) have diverse physiological functions including the regulation of food intake and metabolism. In mammals, ECBs regulate feeding primarily through the CB1 receptors within the brain whereas the CB2 receptors are primarily involved in the regulation of immune function by direct action on peripheral immune cells and central glia. The central effect of ECBs on feeding behavior has not been studied in non-mammalian species. Therefore, the present study investigated the effect of CB65, a selective CB2 receptors agonist, on food intake in the neonatal chicks. In addition, the effect of astressin, a CRF receptor antagonist, on CB65-induced food intake was also investigated. Intracerebroventricular injection of the CB65 (1.25 μg) increased the food intake at 30- and 60-min post-injection significantly as compared to the control group. Pretreatment with a selective CB2 receptor antagonist, AM630, but not astressin, significantly attenuated the CB65-induced food intake. These results suggested that CB2 receptor agonists act on the brain to induce food intake.