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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2014 Sep;62:30-41. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Aug 6.

Metabolic regulation of lateral hypothalamic glucose-inhibited orexin neurons may influence midbrain reward neurocircuitry.

Author information

1
New Jersey Med. Sch., Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07103, United States.
2
Univ. Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639, United States.
3
New Jersey Med. Sch., Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07103, United States. Electronic address: routhvh@njms.rutgers.edu.

Abstract

Lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) orexin neurons modulate reward-based feeding by activating ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons. We hypothesize that signals of peripheral energy status influence reward-based feeding by modulating the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin glucose-inhibited (GI) neurons. This hypothesis was tested using electrophysiological recordings of LHA orexin-GI neurons in brain slices from 4 to 6week old male mice whose orexin neurons express green fluorescent protein (GFP) or putative VTA-DA neurons from C57Bl/6 mice. Low glucose directly activated ~60% of LHA orexin-GFP neurons in both whole cell and cell attached recordings. Leptin indirectly reduced and ghrelin directly enhanced the activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by glucose decreases from 2.5 to 0.1mM by 53±12% (n=16, P<0.001) and 41±24% (n=8, P<0.05), respectively. GABA or neurotensin receptor blockade prevented leptin's effect on glucose sensitivity. Fasting increased activation of LHA orexin-GI neurons by decreased glucose, as would be predicted by these hormonal effects. We also evaluated putative VTA-DA neurons in a novel horizontal slice preparation containing the LHA and VTA. Decreased glucose increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs; 125 ± 40%, n=9, P<0.05) and action potentials (n=9; P<0.05) in 45% (9/20) of VTA DA neurons. sEPSCs were completely blocked by AMPA and NMDA glutamate receptor antagonists (CNQX 20 μM, n=4; APV 20μM, n=4; respectively), demonstrating that these sEPSCs were mediated by glutamatergic transmission onto VTA DA neurons. Orexin-1 but not 2 receptor antagonism with SB334867 (10μM; n=9) and TCS-OX2-29 (2μM; n=5), respectively, blocks the effects of decreased glucose on VTA DA neurons. Thus, decreased glucose increases orexin-dependent excitatory glutamate neurotransmission onto VTA DA neurons. These data suggest that the glucose sensitivity of LHA orexin-GI neurons links metabolic state and reward-based feeding.

KEYWORDS:

Dopamine; Electrophysiology; Energy balance; Ghrelin; Leptin; Ventral tegmental area

PMID:
25107627
DOI:
10.1016/j.mcn.2014.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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