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Regul Pept. 2002 Mar 15;104(1-3):111-7.

Interaction of the hypocretins with neurotransmitters in the nucleus accumbens.

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Department of Neuropharmacology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The hypocretins (hcrt1 and hcrt2), also known as orexins, are two neuropeptides derived from the same precursor, expressed in a few thousand cells in the lateral hypothalamus. Hypocretin-containing cells project throughout the brain, including ascending projections to the olfactory bulb and cerebral cortex, through the medial septum and the nucleus accumbens. Here, we have studied the interactions of the hypocretins with different neurotransmitters by patch clamp recording of acutely dissociated cells from the nucleus accumbens. Application of hcrt1 or hcrt2 decreased postsynaptic NMDA currents, enhanced GABA currents but did not affect glycine-activated conductances. Our results strongly suggest that the hypocretin peptides may be inhibitory peptides, probably via binding hcrt receptor 2.

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