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      The hypocretins: hypothalamus-specific peptides with neuroexcitatory activity.

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          Abstract

          We describe a hypothalamus-specific mRNA that encodes preprohypocretin, the putative precursor of a pair of peptides that share substantial amino acid identities with the gut hormone secretin. The hypocretin (Hcrt) protein products are restricted to neuronal cell bodies of the dorsal and lateral hypothalamic areas. The fibers of these neurons are widespread throughout the posterior hypothalamus and project to multiple targets in other areas, including brainstem and thalamus. Hcrt immunoreactivity is associated with large granular vesicles at synapses. One of the Hcrt peptides was excitatory when applied to cultured, synaptically coupled hypothalamic neurons, but not hippocampal neurons. These observations suggest that the hypocretins function within the CNS as neurotransmitters.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          0027-8424
          0027-8424
          Jan 06 1998
          : 95
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
          Article
          10.1073/pnas.95.1.322
          18213
          9419374
          6f69d2bc-b2fa-4a83-b52c-cd19630a2300
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