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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Concomitant loss of dynorphin, NARP, and orexin in narcolepsy.

BACKGROUND: Narcolepsy with cataplexy is associated with a loss of orexin/hypocretin. It is speculated that an autoimmune process kills the orexin-producing neurons, but these cells may survive yet fail to produce orexin. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether other markers of the orexin neurons are lost in narcolepsy with cataplexy. METHODS: We used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to examine the expression of orexin, neuronal activity-regulated pentraxin (NARP), and prodynorphin in hypothalami from five control and two narcoleptic individuals. RESULTS: In the control hypothalami, at least 80% of the orexin-producing neurons also contained prodynorphin mRNA and NARP. In the patients with narcolepsy, the number of cells producing these markers was reduced to about 5 to 10% of normal. CONCLUSIONS: Narcolepsy with cataplexy is likely caused by a loss of the orexin-producing neurons. In addition, loss of dynorphin and neuronal activity-regulated pentraxin may contribute to the symptoms of narcolepsy.[1]


  1. Concomitant loss of dynorphin, NARP, and orexin in narcolepsy. Crocker, A., España, R.A., Papadopoulou, M., Saper, C.B., Faraco, J., Sakurai, T., Honda, M., Mignot, E., Scammell, T.E. Neurology (2005) [Pubmed]
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