Microdialysis perfusion of orexin-A in the basal forebrain increases wakefulness in freely behaving rats.

M. M. Thakkar, V. Ramesh, R. E. Strecker, R. W. McCarley


Recent work indicates that the orexin/hypocretin-containing neurons of the lateral hypothalamus are involved in control of REM sleep phenomena, but site-specific actions in control of wakefulness have been less studied. Orexin-containing neurons project to both brainstem and forebrain regions that are known to regulate sleep and wakefulness, including the field of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain (BF) that is implicated in regulation of wakefulness, and includes, in the rat, the horizontal limb of the diagonal band, the substantia innominata, and the magnocellular preoptic region. The present study used microdialysis perfusion of orexin-A directly in the cholinergic BF region of rat to test the hypothesis that orexin-A enhances W via a local action in the BF. A significant dose-dependent increase in W was produced by the perfusion of three doses of orexin-A in the BF (0.1, 1.0, and 10.0 microM), with 10.0 microM producing more than a 5-fold increase in wakefulness, which occupied 44% of the light (inactive) phase recording period. Orexin-A perfusion also produced a significant dose-dependent decrease in nonREM sleep, and a trend-level decrease in REM sleep. The results clearly demonstrate a potent capacity of orexin-A to induce wakefulness via a local action in the BF, and are consistent with previous work indicating that the BF cholinergic zone neurons have a critical role in the regulation of EEG activation and W. The data suggest further that orexin-A has a significant role in the regulation of arousal/wakefulness, in addition to the previously described role of orexin in the regulation and expression of REM sleep and REM sleep-related phenomena.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4449/aib.v139i3.506


  • There are currently no refbacks.