Effects of orexins A and B on the secretory and proliferative activity of immature and regenerating rat adrenal glands

  • G. G. Nussdorfer
  • L. K. Malendowicz
  • N. Jedrzejczak
  • A. S. Belloni
  • M. Trejter
  • A. Hochól
Keywords: orexins, orexin receptors, steroid secretion, cell proliferation, adrenal cortex, adrenal regeneration


Orexins A and B are two hypothalamic peptides, involved in the central regulation of feeding, which act through two receptor subtypes, named OXIR and OX2R. OXIR is selective for orexin-A, and OX2R binds both orexins. We have investigated the effects of three subcutaneous injections of 10 nmollkg body weight of orexins on the secretion and proliferative activity of immature (20-day-old) and regenerating rat adrenal cortex. The presence of both OXIR and OX2R mRNAs has been detected by reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction in adult, immature and regenerating adrenals. Orexin-A increased corticosterone plasma concentration in immature rats, but not in animals with regenerating adrenals. Both orexins raised metaphase index (%o of metaphase-arrested cells) in immature rat adrenals, orexin-B being more effective than orexin-A. In contrast, both orexins equipotently lowered adrenal metaphase index at day 5 (but not day 8) of adrenal regeneration. We conclude that orexins (1) stimulate secretion and proliferative activity of immature rat adrenals, acting through OXIR and OX2R, respectively; and (2) do not affect secretion, but inhibit proliferative activity of regenerating adrenals, mainly via the activation of OX2R.