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Orexin excites rat inferior vestibular nuclear neurons via co-activation of OX1 and OX 2 receptors.

Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996) (2014-11-06)
Lei Yu, Xiao-Yang Zhang, Zhang-Peng Chen, Qian-Xing Zhuang, Jing-Ning Zhu, Jian-Jun Wang
ABSTRACT

Orexin deficiency results in cataplexy, a motor deficit characterized by sudden loss of muscle tone, strongly indicating an active role of central orexinergic system in motor control. However, effects of orexin on neurons in central motor structures are still largely unknown. Our previous studies have revealed that orexin excites neurons in the cerebellar nuclei and lateral vestibular nucleus, two important subcortical motor centers for control of muscle tone. Here, we report that both orexin-A and orexin-B depolarizes and increases the firing rate of neurons in the inferior vestibular nucleus (IVN), the largest nucleus in the vestibular nuclear complex and holding an important position in integration of information signals in the control of body posture. TTX does not block orexin-induced excitation on IVN neurons, suggesting a direct postsynaptic action of the neuropeptide. Furthermore, bath application of orexin induces an inward current on IVN neurons in a concentration-dependent manner. SB334867 and TCS-OX2-29, specific OX1 and OX2 receptor antagonists, blocked the excitatory effect of orexin, and [Ala(11), D-Leu(15)]-orexin B, a selective OX2 receptor agonist, mimics the orexin-induced inward current on IVN neurons. qPCR and immunofluorescence results show that both OX1 and OX2 receptor mRNAs and proteins are expressed and localized in the rat IVN. These results demonstrate that orexin excites the IVN neurons by co-activation of both OX1 and OX2 receptors, suggesting that via the direct modulation on the IVN, the central orexinergic system may actively participate in the central vestibular-mediated postural and motor control.

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