Immunohistochemical evidence of Orexin-A in the pancreatic beta cells of domestic animals

Res Vet Sci. 2010 Oct;89(2):147-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 31.


A large body of information proves that Orexin-A is present in the pancreatic endocrine cells of humans and laboratory animals; more detailed studies identify Orexin-A-immunopositive cells as beta cells. Because no data have been reported on the pancreas of domestic animals, we investigated the presence and the distribution of cells containing Orexin-A in the pancreas of cattle, sheep and pigs by means of immunohistochemical techniques. Using a polyclonal antibody against Orexin-A, the immunopositive reaction was identified in the cytoplasm of many insular cells in the three species studied. Double immunohistochemical staining, using a polyclonal anti-insulin antibody, showed that Orexin-A is co-expressed with insulin. Our results, besides showing the presence of Orexin-A in the endocrine pancreas of domestic animals, together with data present in the literature, could contribute to the understanding of complex mechanisms regulating the functionality of the endocrine pancreas in domestic animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Orexins
  • Sheep / metabolism*
  • Swine / metabolism*


  • HCRT protein, human
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Orexins