Capsaicin and its effects upon meal patterns, and glucagon and epinephrine suppression of food intake. Academic Article uri icon


  • The neurotoxin capsaicin has been shown to selectively interfere with unmyelinated sensory fibers, as well as leading to depletions of substance P and other peptides. Meal pattern analysis was performed both before and after treatment with capsaicin in twelve adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Capsaicin treatment only briefly altered feeding patterns. No long term effect on body weight was noted. These same animals were then tested for the appetite suppressing effects of IP injections of glucagon (125 micrograms/kg) and epinephrine (30 micrograms/kg). Capsaicin treated rats decreased their intake of sweetened condensed milk during a 30 minute test in response to glucagon and epinephrine. Controls failed to suppress intake in response to glucagon, but drank less milk after epinephrine than did capsaicin treated rats. Efficacy of capsaicin treatment was obtained using similarly treated animals subject to histological evaluation within 2 days of capsaicin treatment. These results suggest that peripherally generated information relayed to the CNS via small-diameter sensory neurons is not a necessary component of the normal hunger/satiety sequence, nor body weight regulation.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Castonguay, T. W., & Bellinger, L. L.

complete list of authors

  • Castonguay, TW||Bellinger, LL

publication date

  • January 1, 1987 11:11 AM