Author(s): Wu MF, John J, Maidment N, Lam HA, Siegel JM
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Abstract Hypocretins (orexins) are recently discovered hypothalamic neuropeptides that have been implicated in the etiology of narcolepsy. The normal behavioral functions of these peptides are unclear, although a role in feeding has been suggested. We measured hypocretin-1 (Hcrt-1) in the cerebrospinal fluid of dogs during a variety of behaviors. We found that 48 h without food (24 h beyond normal 24-h fasting period) produced no significant change in Hcrt-1 levels nor did feeding after the deprivation. In contrast, 24 h of sleep deprivation produced on average a 70\% increase in Hcrt-1 level compared with baseline levels. The amount of increase was correlated with the level of motor activity during the sleep-deprivation procedure. A 2-h period of exercise in the same dogs produced a 57\% increase in Hcrt-1 levels relative to quiet waking levels, with the magnitude of the increase being highly correlated with the level of motor activity. The strong correlation between motor activity and Hcrt-1 release may explain some of the previously reported behavioral, physiological, and pathological phenomena ascribed to the Hcrt system.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies