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J Physiol. 2009 Jan 15;587(1):33-40. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2008.164400. Epub 2008 Dec 1.

The hypocretins as sensors for metabolism and arousal.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304-5742, USA. tidis@stanford.edu.

Abstract

Sleep disturbances are associated with hormonal imbalances and may result in metabolic disorders including obesity and diabetes. Therefore, circuits controlling both sleep and metabolism are likely to play a role in these physiopathological conditions. The hypocretin (Hcrt) system is a strong candidate for mediating both sleep and metabolic imbalances because Hcrt neurons are sensitive to metabolic hormones, including leptin and ghrelin, and modulate arousal and goal-orientated behaviours. This review discusses the role of Hcrt neurons as a sensors of energy balance and arousal and proposes new ways of probing local hypothalamic circuits regulating sleep and metabolism with unprecedented cellular specificity and temporal resolution.

PMID:
19047201
PMCID:
PMC2670020
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2008.164400
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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