Urocortin 1 in the dorsal raphe regulates food and fluid consumption, but not ethanol preference in C57BL/6J mice

A. Z. Weitemier, A. E. Ryabinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The midbrain-localized Edinger-Westphal nucleus is a major site of production of urocortin 1. Urocortin 1 is a neuropeptide related to corticotropin-releasing factor that has high affinity for corticotropin- releasing factor type-1 and corticotropin-releasing factor type-2 receptors. In several mouse models, the amount of urocortin 1 neurons within the Edinger-Westphal nucleus is positively associated with ethanol preference. Central administration of urocortin 1 exerts potent anorectic actions, and implicates endogenous urocortin 1 in the regulation of food intake. It is possible that brain areas such as the dorsal raphe, which receives urocortin 1 from the Edinger-Westphal nucleus and highly expresses corticotropin-releasing factor type-2 receptors, mediate the actions of urocortin 1 on feeding and ethanol preference. In this study the amount of food, water and ethanol consumed over the dark cycle by ethanol-preferring C57BL/6J mice was measured after injection of artificial cerebrospinal fluid vehicle, urocortin 1, corticotropin-releasing factor and the corticotropin-releasing factor type-2 receptor-selective antagonist antisauvagine-30 onto the dorsal raphe. Compared with vehicle, corticotropin-releasing factor and antisauvagine-30, urocortin 1 induced a significant reduction in the amount of food consumed overnight. Also, compared with antisauvagine-30 treatment, urocortin 1 significantly reduced the amount of weight gained during this time. Urocortin 1 also significantly reduced the total amount of fluid consumed, but did not alter ethanol preference, which was high during all treatments. These results suggest that the dorsal raphe is a neuroanatomical substrate of urocortin 1-induced reductions in feeding, possibly through modulation of serotonergic activity from this nucleus. In addition, it is suggested that endogenous urocortin 1 in this area, such as from the Edinger-Westphal nucleus, does not regulate ethanol preference in C57BL/6J mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1445
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Alcohol
  • CRF
  • Corticotropin
  • Depression
  • Energy balance
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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