The brain hypocretins and their receptors: mediators of allostatic arousal.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

The hypocretins (abbreviated 'Hcrts' - also called 'orexins') are two neuropeptides secreted exclusively by a small population of neurons in the lateral hypothalamus. These peptides bind to two receptors located throughout the brain in nuclei associated with diverse cognitive and physiological functions. Initially, the brain Hcrt system was found to have a major role in the regulation of sleep/wake transitions. More recent studies indicate Hcrts may play a role in other physiological functions, including food intake, addiction, and stress. Taken together, these studies suggest a general role for Hcrts in mediating arousal, especially when an organism must respond to unexpected stressors and challenges in the environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Carter, ME; Schaich Borg, J; de Lecea, L

Published Date

  • February 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 39 - 45

PubMed ID

  • 19185540

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3791851

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-4973

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1471-4892

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.coph.2008.12.018


  • eng