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      Three Pillars for the Neural Control of Appetite

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      Annual Review of Physiology
      Annual Reviews

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          Orexins and Orexin Receptors: A Family of Hypothalamic Neuropeptides and G Protein-Coupled Receptors that Regulate Feeding Behavior

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            Phasic firing in dopaminergic neurons is sufficient for behavioral conditioning.

            Natural rewards and drugs of abuse can alter dopamine signaling, and ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurons are known to fire action potentials tonically or phasically under different behavioral conditions. However, without technology to control specific neurons with appropriate temporal precision in freely behaving mammals, the causal role of these action potential patterns in driving behavioral changes has been unclear. We used optogenetic tools to selectively stimulate VTA dopaminergic neuron action potential firing in freely behaving mammals. We found that phasic activation of these neurons was sufficient to drive behavioral conditioning and elicited dopamine transients with magnitudes not achieved by longer, lower-frequency spiking. These results demonstrate that phasic dopaminergic activity is sufficient to mediate mammalian behavioral conditioning.
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              The hypocretins: hypothalamus-specific peptides with neuroexcitatory activity.

              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
                Annual Review of Physiology
                Annu. Rev. Physiol.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4278
                1545-1585
                February 10 2017
                February 10 2017
                : 79
                : 1
                : 401-423
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-physiol-021115-104948
                27912679
                733f6333-999a-4916-9dfb-7a8d4241c13f
                © 2017
                History

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