Central orexin inhibits reflex swallowing elicited by the superior laryngeal nerve via caudal brainstem in the rat

Motoi Kobashi, Satoshi Mizutani, Masako Fujita, Yoshihiro Mitoh, Yuichi Shimatani, Ryuji Matsuo

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We examined the effects of orexins on the reflex swallowing using anesthetized rats. Orexins were administered into the fourth ventricle. Swallowing was induced by repeated electrical stimulation of the central cut end of the superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) and was identified by the electromyogram lead penetrated the mylohyoid muscle through bipolar electrodes. The frequency of swallowing during the electrical stimulation of the SLN decreased after the administration of orexin-A in a dose-dependent manner. The latency of the first swallowing tended to be extended after the administration of orexin-A. The administration of orexin-B did not affect swallowing frequency. Pre-administration of SB334867, an orexin-1 receptor antagonist, attenuated the degree of inhibition of swallowing frequency induced by the administration of orexin-A. To identify the effective site of orexin-A, the effect of a microinjection of orexin-A into the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) was evaluated. Orexin-A was injected into one of the lateral DVC, the intermediate DVC, or the medial DVC. Microinjection of orexin-A into the medial DVC but not the other two sites decreased swallowing frequency. Pre-injection of SB334867 into the medial DVC disrupted the inhibitory response induced by fourth ventricular administration of orexin-A. The electrical lesion of the commissural part of the NTS, but not ablation of the AP, abolished the inhibition of reflex swallowing induced by fourth ventricular administration of orexin-A. These results suggest that orexin-A inhibits reflex swallowing via orexin-1 receptors situated in the commissural part of the NTS and/or its vicinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - May 10 2014



  • Area postrema
  • Commissural NTS
  • Orexins
  • SB334867
  • Swallowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Medicine(all)

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