Daily orexinergic modulation of the rat superficial layers of the superior colliculus – implications for intrinsic clock activities in the visual system

Lukasz Chrobok, Jagoda Stanislawa Jeczmien-Lazur, Monika Bubka, Kamil Pradel, Aleksandra Klekocinska, Jasmin Daniela Klich, Amalia Ridla Rahim, Jihwan Myung, Mariusz Kepczynski, Marian Henryk Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The orexinergic system delivers excitation for multiple brain centres to facilitate behavioural arousal, with its malfunction resulting in narcolepsy, somnolence, and notably, visual hallucinations. Since the circadian clock underlies the daily arousal, a timed coordination is expected between the orexin system and its target subcortical visual system, including the superior colliculus (SC). Here, we use a combination of electrophysiological, immunohistochemical, and molecular approaches across 24 h, together with the neuronal tract tracing methods in rodents to elucidate the daily coordination between the orexin system and the superficial layers of the SC. We find the daily orexinergic innervation onto the SC, coinciding with the daily silencing of spontaneous firing in this visual brain area. We identify autonomous daily and circadian expression of clock genes in the SC, which may underlie these day-night changes. Additionally, we establish the lateral hypothalamic origin of orexin innervation to the SC and that the SC neurons robustly respond to orexin A via OX2 receptor in both excitatory and GABAA receptor-dependent inhibitory manners. Together, our evidence supports that the clock coordination between the orexinergic input and its response in the SC provides arousal-related excitation needed to detect sparse visual information during the behaviourally active phase.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.
Original languageChinese (Traditional)
Pages (from-to)2021.02.20.432093
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021

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