Orexin receptors: Targets and applications

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Aug 31. doi: 10.1111/fcp.12723. Online ahead of print.


Over the years, elucidating targets from the neural circuits that can be used to treat disorders pertaining to the nervous system and extending their scope to other systems have always proved interesting to researchers. The role of various peptides and neurotransmitters has been elucidated and is being developed as therapeutic targets. Out of these, orexins are neuropeptides produced in the hypothalamus that stimulate a specific type of G-Protein coupled receptors (GPCR) called orexin receptors and bring about various physiological and pathological roles. Orexin receptors are of interest not only because of their wide applications such as insomnia, obesity, and inflammatory disorders but also because of their contribution to promising aspects of drug discovery such as optogenetics and their tremendous growth from the stage of being orphans to orexins. This review will discuss in detail the structure of orexin receptors, their physiological role, and various applications in disease states adding a note on agonists and antagonists and finally summarizing the recent drug approvals in the field.

Keywords: agonist; antagonist; orexin system; physiological role.

Publication types

  • Review