Author(s): Tsujino N, Sakurai T
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Abstract Recent studies have implicated the orexin system as a critical regulator of sleep/wake states as well as feeding behavior and reward processes. Orexin deficiency results in narcolepsy in humans, dogs, and rodents, suggesting that the orexin system is particularly important for maintenance of wakefulness. In addition, orexin deficiency also cause abnormalities in energy homeostasis and reward systems. Orexin activates waking active monoaminergic and cholinergic neurons in the hypothalamus and brainstem regions to maintain a long, consolidated waking period. Orexin neurons receive abundant input from the limbic system. Orexin neurons also have reciprocal links with the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus, which regulates feeding. Moreover, the responsiveness of orexin neurons to peripheral metabolic cues, such as leptin and glucose, suggest that these neurons have important role as a link between the energy homeostasis and vigilance states. Orexin neurons also have a link with the dopaminergic reward system in the ventral tegmental nucleus. These findings suggest that the orexin system interacts with systems that regulate emotion, reward, and energy homeostasis to maintain proper vigilance states. Therefore, this system may be a potentially important therapeutic target for treatment of sleep disorder, obesity, emotional stress, and addiction.
This article was published in Pharmacol Rev
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy