Chronic exposure to a diet rich in fats changes the gastrointestinal milieu and alters responses to several signals involved in the control of food intake. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a gut-derived satiety signal released from enterocytes upon the ingestion of dietary fats. The anorexigenic effect of OEA, which requires intestinal PPAR-alpha receptors and is supposedly mediated by vagal afferents, is associated with the induction of c-fos in several brain areas involved in the control of food intake, such as the nucleus of the solitary tract (NST) and the hypothalamic paraventricular (PVN) and supraoptic nuclei (SON). In the present study we investigated whether the exposure to a high fat diet (HFD) alters the hindbrain and hypothalamic responses to OEA. To this purpose we evaluated the effects of OEA at a dose that reliably inhibits eating (10mg/kg i.p.) on the induction of c-fos in the NST, area postrema (AP), PVN and SON in rats maintained either on standard chow or a HFD. We performed a detailed analysis of the different NST subnuclei activated by i.p. OEA and found that peripheral OEA strongly activates c-fos expression in the AP, NST and in the hypothalamus of both chow and HFD fed rats. The extent of c-fos expression was, however, markedly different between the two groups of rats, with a weaker activation of selected NST subnuclei and stronger activation of the PVN in HFD-fed than in chow-fed rats. HFD-fed rats were also more sensitive to the immediate hypophagic action of OEA than chow-fed rats. These effects may be due to a decreased sensitivity of vagal afferent fibers that might mediate OEA's actions on the brain and/or an altered sensitivity of brain structures to OEA.