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Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2010 Mar;198(3):203-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2009.02004.x. Epub 2009 May 15.

A decade of hypocretins: past, present and future of the neurobiology of arousal.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


In 1998, two groups independently identified the hypocretins, also known as orexins, as two hypothalamic peptides derived from the same precursor expressed in a few thousand neurones restricted to the perifornical area. A decade later, an amazing set of discoveries has demonstrated a key role for this neurotransmitter system in arousal and beyond. Here I review some of the experiments that led to these discoveries and the implications in the neurobiology of the hypothalamus and our understanding of brain arousal.

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