Orexin A increases sympathetic nerve activity through promoting expression of proinflammatory cytokines in Sprague Dawley rats

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Accumulating evidence suggests that orexin signalling is involved in the regulation of blood pressure and cardiovascular function. However, the underlying mechanisms are not clear. Here, we test the hypothesis that upregulated orexin A signalling in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) increases sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) through stimulating expression of proinflammatory cytokines (PICs).


In vivo sympathetic nerve recordings were performed to test the impact of PVN orexin signalling on sympathetic outflow in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Real‐time PCR was carried out to assess effects of central administration of orexin A on PVN PICs expression in SD rats. To test whether orexin A‐induced increases in PICs were exclusively mediated by orexin receptor 1 (OX1R), OX1R‐expressing PC12 (PC12‐OX1R) cells were incubated with different dose of orexin A, and then, PICs mRNA and immunoreactivity were measured.


Orexin A microinjection (25 pmol) into the PVN significantly increased splanchnic SNA (93.5%) and renal SNA (83.3%) in SD rats, and these increases were attenuated by OX1R antagonist SB408124. Intracerebroventricular injection of orexin A (0.2 nmol) into SD rats increased mRNA levels of PICs including IL‐1‐β (2.7‐fold), IL‐6 (1.7‐fold) and TNF‐α (1.5‐fold), as well as Fra1 (1.6‐fold) in the PVN. Orexin A treatment in PC12‐OX1R cells resulted in a dose‐ and time‐dependent increase in the expression of PICs and Fra1, a subunit of AP1 transcriptional factor. The increase in the PICs was blocked by AP1 blocker curcumin.


Paraventricular nucleus orexin system activation is involved in SNA regulation maybe through triggering AP1‐PICs pathway.

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© 2017 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Publisher's version of record: https://doi.org/10.1111/apha.12963

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Acta Physiologica