The intestinal incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide I (GLP-I) inhibits gastric motility and secretion in normal, but not in vagotomized subjects, pointing to a centrally mediated effect. Therefore, our aim was to study the availability of rat brain GLP-I receptors to peripherally injected 125I-labeled GLP-I. The specificity of the binding was tested by co-injection of excess amounts of unlabeled GLP-I. Using light microscopical autoradiography of rat brain sections, we found specific 125I-GLP-I binding exclusively in the subfornical organ and the area postrema. This binding was abolished when an excess amount of unlabeled GLP-I was co-injected with the labeled GLP-I. We conclude that cells in the subfornical organ and the area postrema could be responsive to blood-borne GLP-I. The observed binding of peripherally administered GLP-I to the subfornical organ and the area postrema, which both have close neuroanatomical connections with hypothalamic areas involved in water and appetite homeostasis, is consistent with the potential roles of circulating GLP-I in the central regulation of appetite and autonomic functions.

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