Cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin (orexin) levels are elevated by play but are not raised by exercise and its associated heart rate, blood pressure, respiration or body temperature changes

M.-F. Wu, R. Nienhuis, N. Maidment, H. A. Lam, J. M. Siegel

Abstract


Hypocretin (Hcrt) has been implicated in the control of motor activity and in respiration and cardiovascular changes. Loss of Hcrt in narcolepsy is linked to sleepiness and to cataplexy, a sudden loss of muscle tone which is triggered by sudden strong emotions. In the current study we have compared the effects of treadmill running, to yard play on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Hcrt level in normal dogs. We find that treadmill locomotion, at a wide range of speeds, does not increase Hcrt level beyond baseline, whereas yard play produces a substantial increase in Hcrt, even though both activities produce comparable increases in heart rate, respiration and body temperature. We conclude that motor and cardiovascular changes are not sufficient to elevate CSF levels of Hcrt and we hypothesize that the emotional aspects of yard play account for the observed increase in Hcrt.


Keywords


hypocretin; orexin; locomotion; dog; narcolepsy

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