Orexin A in the rostrolateral hypothalamic area induces feeding by modulating GABAergic transmission

A. J. Thorpe, D. F. Doane, D. C. Sweet, J. L. Beverly, C. M. Kotz

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23 Scopus citations


The neuromodulatory peptides orexin A and B are important central nervous system regulators of appetite. We previously identified the rostral lateral portion of the hypothalamus as an area important to orexin A feeding regulation. As γ-aminobutyric-acid (GABA) within the lateral hypothalamus also mediates feeding, we sought to determine the relationship between orexin and GABA signaling within this site. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were implanted with cannulae directed to the rostral lateral hypothalamus and saclofen (GABA-B receptor antagonist), biccuculine (GABA-A receptor antagonist) or muscimol (GABA-A receptor agonist) were injected prior to orexin A. Both GABA antagonists failed to significantly affect orexin A-induced feeding, but muscimol significantly and dose dependently inhibited orexin A-induced feeding. Using in vivo microdialysis GABA release within this region significantly dropped during the first hour following orexin A administration, coinciding with orexin A-induced feeding. Together, these data indicate that orexin A may influence food intake by decreasing GABAergic tone within the rostral lateral hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 13 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Mary Mullett for her expert technical assistance with the microinjections, food intake measurements and histology, and Dr. Michael Kuskowski for statistical consultation. These studies were funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, NIDDK 57573 and USDA ILLU-538-330.


  • 2-Hydroxysaclofen
  • Bicuculline
  • Feeding behavior
  • Hypocretin
  • Microdialysis
  • Muscimol


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