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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2002 Jun;12(3):339-45.

Sleep, feeding, and neuropeptides: roles of orexins and orexin receptors.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75390-9050, USA.


Recent studies using molecular genetics in mice and dogs, as well as histopathological analyses of human disease, have come to the same conclusion: the human sleep disorder narcolepsy is caused by failure of signaling mediated by orexin (hypocretin) neuropeptides. These and other findings strongly suggest that the orexin system plays a critical role in sleep/wake regulation. In addition, the orexin system may link energy homeostasis to the regulation of sleep/wake cycles.

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