Evidence for a role of inhibition of orexinergic neurons in the anxiolytic and sedative effects of diazepam: A c-Fos study.
The classical benzodiazepine diazepam (DZ) induces anxiolysis at low doses and sedation and hypnosis at higher doses. Different brain areas and neuronal populations most likely mediate these different behavioral effects. We used c-Fos immunohistochemistry as an indirect way to study neuronal activation or inhibition induced by DZ at anxiolytic and sedative doses (0.5 and 5mg/kg, respectively) in various brain areas involved in anxiety, arousal, sedation and addiction in C57BL/6J mice. We also focused on the two neuronal populations, orexinergic and dopaminergic neuronal populations, with the help of double-immunohistochemistry using c-Fos and orexin-A antibodies and c-Fos and tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies. We found that different brain areas of unhabituated mice reacted differently to the mild stress induced by vehicle injection. Also the response to anxiolytic or sedative doses of DZ differed between the areas, suggesting that distinct brain areas mediate the behavioral effects of low and high DZ doses. Our findings propose a role for inhibition of orexin neurons in the anxiolytic and sleep-promoting effects of DZ. In addition, the activation of central amygdala neurons by DZ treatment was associated with anxiolytic and sedative effects. On the other hand, the ventral hippocampus, basolateral amygdala, ventral tegmental area and prefrontal cortex were sensitive even to the mild injection stress, but not to the anxiolytic dose of DZ.
Institute of Biomedicine, Pharmacology, Biomedicum Helsinki, POB 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. email@example.com
SourcePharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior 101:1 2012 Mar pg 115-24
Hypnotics and Sedatives
Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't