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Adipocyte. 2012 Apr 1;1(2):116-120.

An orexinergic projection from perifornical hypothalamus to raphe pallidus increases rat brown adipose tissue thermogenesis.

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Department of Neurological Surgery; Oregon Health & Science University; Portland, OR USA.


Non-shivering thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays an important role in thermoregulatory cold-defense and, through its metabolic consumption of energy reserves to produce heat, can affect the long-term regulation of adiposity. An orexinergic pathway from the perifornical lateral hypothalamus (PeF/LH) to the rostral raphe pallidus (rRPa) has been demonstrated to increase the gain of the excitatory drives to medullary sympathetic premotor neurons controlling BAT sympathetic outflow and BAT thermogenesis. With this background, we consider neural mechanisms that could underlie orexin's modulation of the excitability of BAT sympathetic premotor neurons in rRPa and the potential role of altered BAT thermogenesis in pathological conditions associated with the absence of the central orexin system. Overall, these new data enhance our understanding of the role of central orexin in regulating body temperature and energy homeostasis and provide further insight into the neurochemical regulation of BAT thermogenesis and metabolism.


endocannabinoid; narcolepsy; obesity; stress; ultradian rhythm

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