Modulation of feeding by β2-microglobulin, a marker of immune activation

C. R. Plata-Salaman, G. Sonti, J. P. Borkoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Increased levels of β2-microglobulin (part of the class I major histocompatibility complex molecules) in body fluids are associated with activation of the immune system and pathophysiological processes. Various anorexigenic cytokines, including interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor- α, induce the expression of class I molecules. Therefore, it is possible that β2-microglobulin may participate in the feeding suppression induced by cytokines or may have direct effects on feeding. In the present study, the effects of β2-microglobulin on the central regulation of feeding were investigated. Intracerebroventricular (ICV) microinfusion of β2- microglobulin (0.01-5.0 μg/rat) suppressed the nighttime food intake dose dependently. The most effective dose of β2-microglobulin, 5.0 μg/rat, decreased nighttime feeding by 38% and total daily food intake by 28%. Computerized analysis of behavioral patterns demonstrated that β2- microglobulin decreased meal size and meal frequency during the initial 4-h interval, but decreased only meal size during the second 4-h interval after the ICV microinfusion of 5.0 μg β2-microglobulin/rat; meal duration was not significantly affected in any interval. For the complete nighttime period, only meal size was significantly decreased. Cerebrospinal fluid- brain and rectal temperatures did not change significantly. ICV microinfusion of heat-treated β2-microglobulin or intraperitoneal administration of β2- microglobulin, in doses equivalent to those administered centrally, had no effect on food intake. The results suggest that β2-microglobulin may act centrally to decrease feeding, and this effect may participate in the anorexia frequently accompanying pathological processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1513-R1519
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 37-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • behavior
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • cytokine
  • feeding and drinking
  • food and water
  • growth factor
  • immune system
  • immunomodulator
  • intake
  • intracerebroventricular administration
  • nervous system
  • neuroimmunology
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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