2020 Volume 62 Issue 3 Pages 265-270
Orexins (Oxs) are multifunctional neuropeptides, secreted from the lateral hypothalamus, that stimulate feeding behavior and energy expenditure. In this study, the direct effects of Oxs on the membrane properties of trigeminal motoneurons (TMNs) were examined, which critically participate in the genesis of rhythmical oral motor activities underlying suckling and mastication. Sprague-Dawley rats (3-6 day-old) were used to obtain whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from TMNs. Bath application of Ox-A depolarized the membrane potential and induced inward current, wherein Na+ and Ca2+ were charge carriers. Transient receptor potential channel activation potentially contributed to current and voltage responses by way of Ox-A. Ox-A increased the peak amplitude and duration at half-amplitude of the medium-duration after hyperpolarization following the action potential. The interspike frequency of steady-state firings during repetitive discharge was increased, along with a shift in the frequency-current relationship occurring toward the left. Extracellular and intracellular Ca2+ were involved in regulating modulatory effects, but a requisite level of intracellular Ca2+ was not essential for Ox-induced upregulation of the interspike frequency. Ox-A also enhanced conditional bursting induced by N-methyl-d-aspartate and 5-HT, suggesting it participates in modulating TMNs’ discharge patterns during various oral motor activities.