Orexin in the toad Rhinella schneideri: The location of orexinergic neurons and the role of orexin in ventilatory responses to hypercarbia and hypoxia
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Recent reports have suggested that orexins, also known as hypocretins, play an important role in the modulation of respiratory control in mammals, but there are no data available describing the role of the orexinergic system in the peripheral and central chemoreception of non-mammalian vertebrates. Therefore, the present study was designed to examine the localization of orexin-immunoreactive neurons in the brain of toads (Rhinella schneideri) and to investigate the contribution of orexin receptor-1 (OX1R) to the hypoxic and hypercarbic ventilatory responses of these animals during light and dark phases. Our results demonstrated that the orexinergic neurons of R. schneideri are located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the diencephalon. Additionally, the intracerebroventricular injection of SB-334867 (OX1R selective antagonist) attenuated the ventilatory response to hypercarbia during the dark phase by acting on tidal volume and breathing frequency, while during the light phase, SB-334867 attenuated the ventilatory response to hypoxia by acting on tidal volume only. We conclude that in the toad R. schneideri, orexinergic neurons are located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and that OX1R contributes to hypercarbic and hypoxic chemoreflexes.