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Saint Helena, CA, United States

Ramanathan L.,University of California at Los Angeles | Ramanathan L.,Neurobiology Research 151A3 | Siegel J.M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Siegel J.M.,Neurobiology Research 151A3
Journal of Neurochemistry

Female hypocretin knockout (Hcrt KO) mice have increased body weight despite decreased food intake compared to wild type (WT) mice. In order to understand the nature of the increased body weight, we carried out a detailed study of Hcrt KO and WT, male, and female mice. Female KO mice showed consistently higher body weight than WT mice, from 4 to 20 months (20-60%). Fat, muscle, and free fluid levels were all significantly higher in adult (7-9 months) as well as old (18-20 months) female KO mice compared to age-matched WT mice. Old male KO mice showed significantly higher fat content (150%) compared to age-matched WT mice, but no significant change in body weight. Respiratory quotient (-19%) and metabolic rates (-14%) were significantly lower in KO mice compared to WT mice, regardless of gender or age. Female KO mice had significantly higher serum leptin levels (191%) than WT mice at 18-20 months, but no difference between male mice were observed. Conversely, insulin resistance was significantly higher in both male (73%) and female (93%) KO mice compared to age- and sex-matched WT mice. We conclude that absence of the Hcrt peptide has gender-specific effects. In contrast, Hcrt-ataxin mice and human narcoleptics, with loss of the whole Hcrt cell, show weight gain in both sexes. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry. Source

Lai Y.-Y.,University of California at Los Angeles | Lai Y.-Y.,Neurobiology Research 151A3 | Kodama T.,University of California at Los Angeles | Kodama T.,Neurobiology Research 151A3 | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neurophysiology

Activation of the medial medulla is responsible for rapid eye movement (REM) sleep atonia and cataplexy. Dysfunction can cause REM sleep behavior disorder and other motor pathologies. Here we report the behavioral effects of stimulation of the nucleus gigantocellularis (NGC) and nucleus magnocellularis (NMC) in unrestrained cats. In waking, 62% of the medial medullary stimulation sites suppressed muscle tone. In contrast, stimulation at all sites, including sites where stimulation produced no change or increased muscle tone in waking, produced decreased muscle tone during slow-wave sleep. In the decerebrate cat electrical stimulation of the NGC increased glycine and decreased norepinephrine (NE) release in the lumbar ventral horn, with no change in γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or serotonin (5-HT) release. Stimulation of the NMC increased both glycine and GABA release and also decreased both NE and 5-HT release in the ventral horn. Glutamate levels in the ventral horn were not changed by either NGC or NMC stimulation. We conclude that NGC and NMC play neurochemically distinct but synergistic roles in the modulation of motor activity across the sleep-wake cycle via a combination of increased release of glycine and GABA and decreased release of 5-HT and NE. Stimulation of the medial medulla that elicited muscle tone suppression also triggered rapid eye movements, but never produced the phasic twitches that characterize REM sleep, indicating that the twitching and rapid eye movement generators of REM sleep have separate brain stem substrates. Copyright © 2010 The American Physiological Society. Source

Wu M.-F.,Neurobiology Research 151A3 | Nienhuis R.,Neurobiology Research 151A3 | Maidment N.,University of California at Los Angeles | Lam H.A.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 2 more authors.
Archives Italiennes de Biologie

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. Source

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