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Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4(6), 804-821; doi:10.3390/ph4060804

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

Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 8 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Abuse Targets)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [137 KB, uploaded 14 June 2011]


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.
Keywords: addiction; hypocretin; orexin; reinstatement; relapse addiction; hypocretin; orexin; reinstatement; relapse
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, L.; Sun, W.-L.; See, R.E. Orexin Receptor Targets for Anti-Relapse Medication Development in Drug Addiction. Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4, 804-821.

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