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J Physiol. 2003 Apr 15;548(Pt 2):557-62. Epub 2003 Mar 7.

Intravenously administered hypocretin-1 alters brain amino acid release: an in vivo microdialysis study in rats.

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  • 1Neurobiology Research (151A3), Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, North Hills, CA 91343, USA.


We have reported that intravenous administration of hypocretin (Hcrt or orexin) reverses the symptoms of narcolepsy in genetically narcoleptic dogs. We have also reported that the onset of symptoms in canine genetic narcolepsy is accompanied by degenerative changes in forebrain regions, particularly the septal nucleus and amygdala. In the present in vivo microdialysis study we have investigated the effect of intravenous administration of Hcrt-1 (orexin-A) to anaesthetized rats on glutamate and GABA release in the amygdala, a region with moderate Hcrt innervation, and in the cerebellar cortex, a region with sparse or no Hcrt innervation. We found that intravenous Hcrt administration caused a marked (> 60 %) and sustained (> 50 min) increase in glutamate release within the amygdala, but no change in release in the cerebellar cortex. We did not detect a significant change in GABA release. When calcium-free artificial cerebrospinal fluid was used as the microdialysis perfusate, Hcrt-1 no longer produced an increase in glutamate release. Hcrt may act via the calcium-dependent regulation of glutamate release in certain nuclei of the central nervous system.

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