• antagonists;
  • chicken;
  • G protein-coupled receptor;
  • in situ mRNA hybridization;
  • neuropeptide Y


The neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor subtypes Y1 and Y5 are involved in the regulation of feeding and several other physiological functions in mammals. To increase our understanding of the origin and mechanisms of the complex NPY system, we report here the cloning and pharmacological characterization of receptors Y1 and Y5 in the first non-mammal, chicken (Gallus gallus). The receptors display 80–83% and 64–72% amino acid sequence identity, respectively, with their mammalian orthologues. The three endogenous ligands NPY, peptide YY (PYY) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) have similar affinities as in mammals, i.e. NPY and PYY have subnanomolar affinity for both receptors whereas chicken PP bound with nanomolar affinity to Y5 but not to Y1. A notable difference to mammalian receptor subtypes is that the Y1 antagonist SR120819A does not bind chicken Y1, whereas BIBP3226 does. The Y5 antagonist CGP71863A binds to the chicken Y5 receptor. Anatomically, both Y1 and Y5 have high mRNA expression levels in the infundibular nucleus which is the homologous structure of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus in mammals. These results suggest that some of the selective Y1 and Y5 antagonists developed in mammals can be used to study appetite regulation in chicken.