, Volume 56, Issue 5-6, pp 473-480

The hypocretins/orexins: novel hypothalamic neuropeptides involved in different physiological systems

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract.

The hypothalamus regulates diverse physiological functions, including the control of energy metabolism, circadian rhythms, stress and anxiety, sexual and reproductive behaviors. An overview of the most prevalent hypothalamus-enriched mRNAs revealed that this area of the brain specializes in producing intercellular signaling molecules. Two new secreted peptides derived from a single neuropeptide precursor, named hypocretins and orexins by two different groups, are synthesized in a small set of neurons in the perifornical area of the hypothalamus. Intracerebroventricular injection of the hypocretins/orexins increases food consumption in rats. Here we review recent progress in identifying the role of the hypocretins/orexins in the control of energy balance and in other physiological systems.

Received 28 December 1998; received after revision 10 June 1999; accepted 11 June 1999