The orexin neuropeptide system: Physical activity and hypothalamic function throughout the aging process

Anastasia N. Zink, Claudio Esteban Perez-Leighton, Catherine M. Kotz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is a rising medical need for novel therapeutic targets of physical activity. Physical activity spans from spontaneous, low intensity movements to voluntary, high-intensity exercise. Regulation of spontaneous and voluntary movement is distributed over many brain areas and neural substrates, but the specific cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for mediating overall activity levels are not well understood. The hypothalamus plays a central role in the control of physical activity, which is executed through coordination of multiple signaling systems, including the orexin neuropeptides. Orexin producing neurons integrate physiological and metabolic information to coordinate multiple behavioral states and modulate physical activity in response to the environment. This review is organized around three questions: (1) How do orexin peptides modulate physical activity? (2) What are the effects of aging and lifestyle choices on physical activity? (3) What are the effects of aging on hypothalamic function and the orexin peptides? Discussion of these questions will provide a summary of the current state of knowledge regarding hypothalamic orexin regulation of physical activity during aging and provide a platform on which to develop improved clinical outcomes in age-associated obesity and metabolic syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number211
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue numberNovember
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 4 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Zink, Perez-Leighton and Kotz.

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Energy expenditure
  • Hypocretin
  • Hypothalamus
  • NEAT
  • Obesity
  • Orexin
  • Spontaneous physical activity

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