We recently discovered that inhibiting neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) attenuated hyperthermia, tachycardia, hypertension, and hyperactivity evoked by the substituted amphetamine 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Neurons that synthesize orexin are also found in the region of the DMH. As orexin and its receptors are involved in the regulation of heart rate and temperature, they would seem to be logical candidates as mediators of the effects evoked by amphetamines. The goal of this study was to determine if blockade of orexin-1 receptors in conscious rats would suppress cardiovascular and thermogenic responses evoked by a range of methamphetamine (METH) doses. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 6 per group) were implanted with telemetric transmitters measuring body temperature, heart rate, and mean arterial pressure. Animals were randomized to receive pretreatment with either the orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 (10. mg/kg) or an equal volume of vehicle. Thirty minutes later animals were given intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of either saline, a low (1. mg/kg), moderate (5. mg/kg) or high (10. mg/kg) dose of METH. Pretreatment with SB-334867 significantly attenuated increases in body temperature and mean arterial pressure evoked by the moderate but not the low or high dose of METH. Furthermore, animals treated with SB-334867, compared to vehicle, had lower temperature and heart rate increases after the stress of an i.p. injection. In conclusion, temperature and cardiovascular responses to a moderate dose of METH and to stress appear to involve orexin-1 receptors. The failure to affect a low and a high dose of METH suggests a complex pharmacology dependent on dose. A better understanding of this may lead to the knowledge of how monoamines influence the orexin system and vice versa.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology