Orexin signaling mediates the antidepressant-like effect of calorie restriction
by
Lutter M, Krishnan V, Russo SJ, Jung S, McClung CA, Nestler EJ.
Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience,
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas,
Texas 75390-9070
J Neurosci. 2008 Mar 19;28(12):3071-5.


ABSTRACT

During periods of reduced food availability, animals must respond with behavioral adaptations that promote survival. Despite the fact that many psychiatric syndromes include disordered eating patterns as a component of the illness, little is known about the neurobiology underlying behavioral changes induced by short-term calorie restriction. Presently, we demonstrate that 10 d of calorie restriction, corresponding to a 20-25% weight loss, causes a marked antidepressant-like response in two rodent models of depression and that this response is dependent on the hypothalamic neuropeptide orexin (hypocretin). Wild-type mice, but not mice lacking orexin, show longer latency to immobility and less total immobility in the forced swim test after calorie restriction. In the social defeat model of chronic stress, calorie restriction reverses the behavioral deficits seen in wild-type mice but not in orexin knock-out mice. Additionally, chronic social defeat stress induces a prolonged reduction in the expression of prepro-orexin mRNA via epigenetic modification of the orexin gene promoter, whereas calorie restriction enhances the activation of orexin cells after social defeat. Together, these data indicate that orexin plays an essential role in mediating reduced depression-like symptoms induced by calorie restriction.


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