Author(s): StrickerKrongrad A, Richy S, Beck B
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Abstract Orexins (forms A and B) belong to a new family of peptides that, as neuropeptide Y (NPY), stimulate food intake when centrally injected. The ob/ob mouse is a well-characterized model of hyperphagia and obesity associated with strong metabolic disturbances and a central dysregulation of peptides involved in the control of feeding. In the present report, we investigated the hypocretin (Hcrt)/orexin (OX) peptide pathway in lean and ob/ob mice. Prepro-Hcrt/OX mRNA expression, measured by in situ hybridization was restricted to the lateral hypothalamus area. It was significantly decreased in ob/ob mice (-18\%; p<0.01). When estimated by real time RT-PCR in the whole hypothalamus, this decrease amounted to 65\% (p<0.001). Hcrt-1/OX-A peptide concentrations, measured by RIA in microdissected hypothalamic nuclei were high in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and lower in the arcuate (ARC) and paraventricular nuclei (PVN). In ob/ob mice, OX-A levels were significantly lower than in lean mice in the LH (-34\%; p<0.02) and in the PVN (-72\%; p<0.005). Acute intracerebroventricular injection of Hcrt-1/OX-A (1-10 nmol) stimulated feeding in lean, but not in ob/ob mice, whereas Hcrt-2/OX-B (1-10 nmol) had the opposite effect. Acute third ventricle (i3vt) injections of Hcrt/OX peptides in ob/ob mice transiently increased their metabolic rate and stimulated lipid substrate utilization. These findings provide direct evidence that Hcrt/OX peptides are down-regulated in the hypothalamus of ob/ob mice, contrary to the NPY system. The present data argues that Hcrt/OX peptides are not primarily responsible for the metabolic syndrome of the ob/ob mice. The diminution in the OX tone might participate in a counterregulatory system necessary to limit the adverse effects of NPY on food intake and body weight.
This article was published in Regul Pept
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research