Localization of orexin B and orexin-2 receptor in the rat epididymis

Giovanna Liguori, Simona Tafuri, Chika Miyoshi, Masashi Yanagisawa, Caterina Squillacioti, Valeria De Pasquale, Nicola Mirabella, Alfredo Vittoria, Anna Costagliola

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4 Scopus citations


The peptides orexin A (OXA) and orexin B (OXB) derived from the proteolytic cleavage of a common precursor molecule, prepro-orexin, were originally described in the rat hypothalamus. Successively, they have been found in many other brain regions as well as in peripheral organs of mammals and other less evolved animals. The widespread localization of orexins accounts for the multiple activities that they exert in the body, including the regulation of energy homeostasis, feeding, metabolism, sleep and arousal, stress, addiction, and cardiovascular and endocrine functions. Both OXA and OXB peptides bind to two G-coupled receptors, orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptor, though with different binding affinity. Altered expression/activity of orexins and their receptors has been associated with a large number of human diseases. Though at present evidence highlighted a role for orexins and cognate receptors in mammalian reproduction, their central and/or local effects on gonadal functions remain poorly known. Here, we investigated the localization of OXB and OX2R in the rat epididymis. Immunohistochemical staining of sections from caput, corpus and cauda segments of the organ showed intense signals for both OXB and OX2R in the principal cells of the lining epithelium, while no staining was detected in the other cell types. Negative results were obtained from immunohistochemical analysis of hypothalamic and testicular tissues from OX2R knock-out mice (OX2R−/−) and OX1R/OX2R double knock-out (OX1R−/−; OX2R−/−) mice, thus demonstrating the specificity of the rabbit polyclonal anti-OX2R antibody used in our study. On contrary, the same antibody clearly showed the presence of OX2R in sections from hypothalamus and testis of normal mice and rats which are well known to express the receptor. Thus, our results provide the first definite evidence for the immunohistochemical localization of OXB and OX2R in the principal cells of rat epididymis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Histochemica
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Epididymis
  • Orexin B
  • Orexin-2 receptor
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Cell Biology

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    Liguori, G., Tafuri, S., Miyoshi, C., Yanagisawa, M., Squillacioti, C., De Pasquale, V., Mirabella, N., Vittoria, A., & Costagliola, A. (Accepted/In press). Localization of orexin B and orexin-2 receptor in the rat epididymis. Acta Histochemica. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acthis.2018.02.011