Summary

This chapter has reviewed the endocrine aspects of the hypocretin system. Remarkable evidence obtained since the discovery of the hypocretins in 1998 has revealed that these peptides play a prominent role in the regulation of virtually all the neuroendocrine axes (Fig. 6). Moreover, hypocretins may serve as pivotal signals in the coordination of

Hypocretin Orexin System

Figure 6. Neuroendocrine actions of hypocretins. The figure shows the actions of hypocretins on pituitary and hypothalamic nuclei regulating neuroendocrine function. In order to simplify the figure the relations between hypothalamic nuclei have been omitted. ARC: arcuate hypothalamic nucleus; LHA: lateral hypothalamic area; PO: preoptic area; PeN: periventricular hypothalamic nucleus; PVN: paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus; 3V: third ventricle. +: Stimulation; -: Inhibition.

Figure 6. Neuroendocrine actions of hypocretins. The figure shows the actions of hypocretins on pituitary and hypothalamic nuclei regulating neuroendocrine function. In order to simplify the figure the relations between hypothalamic nuclei have been omitted. ARC: arcuate hypothalamic nucleus; LHA: lateral hypothalamic area; PO: preoptic area; PeN: periventricular hypothalamic nucleus; PVN: paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus; 3V: third ventricle. +: Stimulation; -: Inhibition.

endocrine responses with sleep, arousal and metabolic regulation. Additional work is fundamental to understand the interaction between hypocretins and other known (and unknown) systems implicated in these homeostatic events. These are the key questions that Neuroscience and Endocrinology must answer in the coming years.

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