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Part of the series Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences pp 1-18

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The Hypocretin/Orexin Neuronal Networks in Zebrafish

  • Idan ElbazAffiliated withThe Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University
  • , Talia Levitas-DjerbiAffiliated withThe Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University
  • , Lior AppelbaumAffiliated withThe Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences and The Leslie and Susan Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University Email author 

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Abstract

The hypothalamic Hypocretin/Orexin (Hcrt) neurons secrete two Hcrt neuropeptides. These neurons and peptides play a major role in the regulation of feeding, sleep wake cycle, reward-seeking, addiction, and stress. Loss of Hcrt neurons causes the sleep disorder narcolepsy. The zebrafish has become an attractive model to study the Hcrt neuronal network because it is a transparent vertebrate that enables simple genetic manipulation, imaging of the structure and function of neuronal circuits in live animals, and high-throughput monitoring of behavioral performance during both day and night. The zebrafish Hcrt network comprises ~16–60 neurons, which similar to mammals, are located in the hypothalamus and widely innervate the brain and spinal cord, and regulate various fundamental behaviors such as feeding, sleep, and wakefulness. Here we review how the zebrafish contributes to the study of the Hcrt neuronal system molecularly, anatomically, physiologically, and pathologically.

Keywords

Behavior Hypocretin Narcolepsy Orexin Sleep Zebrafish