Central administration of a single dose of prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) causes a reduction in both fast-induced and nocturnal food intake and body weight gain. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of repeated administration of PrRP on energy homeostasis, including a measure of the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein-1 (UCP-1) in brown adipose tissue. Conscious, free-feeding animals received central injections of PrRP (4 nmol icv) or vehicle. A single injection at 1000 caused a sustained hyperthermia over the 4-h test period and an increase in the expression of UCP-1 mRNA. Repeated, twice daily injection caused a reduction in body weight gain greater than that seen in pair-fed animals for the first 48-72 h. After 72 h, the animals became refractory to the actions of PrRP. The pair-fed group showed a reduction in UCP-1 mRNA expression at 48 h, which was reversed by PrRP treatment. This study indicates that PrRP exerts its effects on energy homeostasis in the short-medium term by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure.