British Journal of Nutrition

Animal Nutrition

Elevation of feed intake in parasite-infected lambs by central administration of a cholecystokinin receptor antagonist

Robyn A. Dynes*a1 c1, Dennis P. Poppia1, Graham K. Barrella1 and Andrew R. Sykesa1

a1 Animal and Veterinary Sciences Group, PO Box 84, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand


The role of cholecystokinin (CCK) in modulating feed intake depression in parasite-infected lambs was investigated using CCK receptor antagonists (L364–718 and loxiglumide). Four experiments were carried out using ewe lambs infected with 4000 Trichostrongylus colubriformis larvae/d or non-infected controls (n 8, live weight 25 kg). Animals were fed daily on a nutritionally complete pelleted diet and had free access to water. In the first experiment, infected and non-infected animals were injected subcutaneously with CCK antagonist (100 μg L364–718) or carrier alone as a single dose. In the second experiment, CCK antagonist (loxiglumide: 0, 5, 10 or 20mg/kg live weight) was injected into a jugular vein immediately before feeding. In the third experiment, animals were infused continuously with the CCK antagonist (loxiglumide; 10mg/kg per h) for 10 min before feeding and for the first 2 h of feeding. In the final experiment, lambs were fitted with an indwelling cerebral ventricular cannula and infused with a CCK antagonist (loxiglumide, 162μg/min), CCK agonist (CCK-8, 2.5 pmol/min), loxiglumide plus CCK-8 or sterile saline solution alone via the cannula for 30 min before feeding and for the first 60 min of feeding. In all the experiments short-term feed intake was recorded at 10 and 15 min intervals for the first and second hours of feeding respectively, then at hourly intervals for the remainder of the 8 h recording period. Peripheral injection with L364–718 or loxiglumide did not elevate feed intake in either the infected or non-infected animals. However, feed intake was increased (P < 0.05) in the short term by central infusion of loxiglumide, this effect being greater in the infected animals and apparently due to an elevation in intake during the second hour of feeding. CCK-8 depressed short term feed intake only in the infected animals (P < 0.05). Total daily feed consumption was not influenced by any of the pharmacological agents. The results indicate an involvement of central CCK receptors in regulation of feed intake depression following gastrointestinal parasitism of sheep and the possibility of a similar role in non-infected sheep. They do not support the singular importance of a peripheral action of CCK in determining satiety.

Cholecystokinin: Loxiglumide: Feed intake: Gastrointestinal parasites

(Received December 09 1996)

(Revised April 14 1997)

(Accepted June 11 1997)


c1 *Corresponding author: Dr R. A. Dynes, fax +61 8 9387 8991, email


† CSIRO, Private Mail Bag, P.O. Wembley, WA 6014, Australia.

‡ Department of Agriculture, University of Queensland, St Lucia, 4072, Australia.