Neurons containing orexin in the lateral hypothalamic area of the adult rat brain are activated by insulin-induced acute hypoglycemia

Neurosci Lett. 1999 Apr 2;264(1-3):101-4. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00177-9.


Orexin-A and -B (also known as hypocretin-1 and -2) are neuropeptides which stimulate food intake when administered intracerebroventricularly. Orexins are specifically localized in neurons within and around the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA). Previous electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that some neurons in the LHA are activated by hypoglycemia, and are therefore termed 'glucose-sensitive neurons'. In the present study, we examined whether orexin-containing neurons are activated in the hypoglycemic states, using Fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI) as a marker of neuronal activation. We observed that FLI was induced in the LHA by acute insulin treatment. Double staining with anti-Fos and anti-orexin antibodies revealed that up to 33% of the orexin-containing neurons in the LHA also expressed FLI under the hypoglycemic condition. These results suggest that some populations of neurons which contain orexins are activated under hypoglycemic conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced*
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents*
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / cytology
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / metabolism
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Male
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Orexins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Orexins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos