• appetite;
  • CCK;
  • electrophysiology;
  • leptin


The peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) is a short-term satiety signal released from the gastrointestinal tract during food intake. From the periphery, CCK signalling travels via the vagus nerve to reach the brainstem from which it is relayed higher into the brain. The hypothalamus is a key integrator of appetite-related stimuli and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMN) is thought to have an important role in the regulation of satiety. We investigated the effect of intravenous injections of CCK on the spontaneous firing activity of single VMN neurons in urethane-anaesthetised rats in vivo. We found that the predominant effect of CCK on the electrical activity in the VMN is inhibitory. We analysed the responses to CCK according to electrophysiologically distinct subpopulations of VMN neurons and found that four of these VMN subpopulations were inhibited by CCK, while five were not significantly affected. Finally, CCK-induced inhibitory response in VMN neurons was not altered by pre-administration of intravenous leptin.