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Regul Pept. 2002 Mar 15;104(1-3):131-44.

Protein distribution of the orexin-2 receptor in the rat central nervous system.

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Psychiatry Biology Department, Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery, Biology Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Third Avenue, Essex CM19 5AW, Harlow, UK.


Orexin-A and -B are neuropeptides mainly expressed in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA). A role for orexins was first demonstrated in the regulation of feeding behaviour. Subsequently, the peptides have been implicated in the control of arousal. To date, two receptors for orexins have been characterised: orexin-1 and -2 receptors (OX-R1 and OX-R2). Both receptor genes are widely expressed within the rat brain. Particularly high expression of both receptor genes in certain hypothalamic and pons nuclei could be responsible for the orexigenic and arousal properties of the peptides. It is, however, presently unclear if one given receptor subtype or both subtypes may mediate a specific biological effect of orexins such as an increase in food intake. We have recently reported the distribution of the OX-R1 protein in the rat nervous system. In this study, we report the distribution of the OX-R2 protein in the rat brain and spinal cord using specific anti-peptide antisera raised against the OX-R2 protein. We also assess the expression profile of the OX-R2 gene in different brain regions. Immunolabelling for the OX-R2 protein was observed in brain regions that exhibited OX-R1-like immunoreactivity (cerebral neocortex, basal ganglia, hippocampal formation, and many other regions in the hypothalamus, thalamus, midbrain and reticular formation). Differences in the OX-R1 and OX-R2 distribution were, however, noticed in the hippocampus, hypothalamus and dorso-lateral pons.

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