Oxytocin secretion in response to cholecystokinin and food: differentiation of nausea from satiety

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Science  13 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4756, pp. 1417-1419
DOI: 10.1126/science.3715453


Administration of cholecystokinin (CCK) to rats caused a dose-dependent increase in plasma levels of the neurohypophyseal hormone oxytocin (OT). The OT secretion was comparable to that found in response to nausea-producing chemical agents that cause learned taste aversions. The effect of CCK on OT secretion was blunted after gastric vagotomy, as was the inhibition of food intake induced by CCK. Food ingestion also led to elevated plasma OT in rats, but CCK and aversive agents caused even greater OT stimulation. Thus, after administration of large doses of CCK, vagally mediated activation of central nausea pathways seems to be predominantly responsible for the subsequent decrease in food intake. Despite their dissimilar affective states, both nausea and satiety may activate a common hypothalamic oxytocinergic pathway that controls the inhibition of ingestion.

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