Targeting the orexin/hypocretin system for the treatment of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases: From animal to clinical studies

Thumbnail Image

Publication date


Start date of the public exhibition period

End date of the public exhibition period


Flores, África
Cristino, Luigia
Pereda Pérez, Inmaculada


Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Google Scholar

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


Orexins (also known as hypocretins) are neuropeptides located exclusively in hypothalamic neurons that have extensive projections throughout the central nervous system and bind two different G protein-coupled receptors (OX1R and OX2R). Since its discovery in 1998, the orexin system has gained the interest of the scientific community as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of different pathological conditions. Considering previous basic science research, a dual orexin receptor antagonist, suvorexant, was the first orexin agent to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat insomnia. In this review, we discuss and update the main preclinical and human studies involving the orexin system with several psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. This system constitutes a nice example of how basic scientific research driven by curiosity can be the best route to the generation of new and powerful pharmacological treatments.

Doctoral program



Orexins, Hypocretins, Sleep, Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, Eating disorders, Addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease