Activation of Medulla-Projecting Perifornical Neurons Modulates the Adrenal Sympathetic Response to Hypoglycemia: Involvement of Orexin Type 2 (OX2-R) Receptors

William Korim, Ida Llewellyn-Smith, Anthony Verberne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Iatrogenic hypoglycemia in response to insulin treatment is commonly experienced by patients with type 1 diabetes and can be life threatening. The body releases epinephrine in an attempt to counterregulate hypoglycemia, but the neural mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain to be elucidated. Orexin neurons in the perifornical hypothalamus (PeH) project to the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) and are likely to be involved in epinephrine secretion during hypoglycemia. In anesthetized rats, we report that hypoglycemia increases the sympathetic preganglionic discharge to the adrenal gland by activating PeH orexin neurons that project to the RVLM (PeH-RVLM). Electrophysiological characterization shows that the majority of identifiedPeH-RVLM neurons, including a subpopulation of orexin neurons, are activated in response to hypoglycemia or glucoprivation. Furthermore, the excitatory input from the PeH is mediated by orexin type 2 receptors in the RVLM. These results suggest that activation of orexin PeH-RVLM neurons and orexin type 2 receptors in the RVLM facilitates epinephrine release by increasing sympathetic drive to adrenal chromaffin cells during hypoglycemia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)810-819
    Number of pages10
    JournalEndocrinology
    Volume157
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

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