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Orexin Receptor Targets for Anti-Relapse Medication Development in Drug Addiction

Author(s): Luyi Zhou | Wei-Lun Sun | Ronald E. See

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 4;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 804;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: addiction | hypocretin | orexin | reinstatement | relapse

Drug addiction is a chronic illness characterized by high rates of relapse. Relapse to drug use can be triggered by re-exposure to drug-associated cues, stressful events, or the drug itself after a period of abstinence. Pharmacological intervention to reduce the impact of relapse-instigating factors offers a promising target for addiction treatment. Growing evidence has implicated an important role of the orexin/hypocretin system in drug reward and drug-seeking, including animal models of relapse. Here, we review the evidence for the role of orexins in modulating reward and drug-seeking in animal models of addiction and the potential for orexin receptors as specific targets for anti-relapse medication approaches.
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