About this Research Topic
The discovery of neuropeptides at the end of 1950’s opened a new frontier of studies in Endocrinology and its related fields, Neuroendocrinology and Psychoneuroendocrinology. These neuromodulators, initially thought to be involved in homeostatic regulation and secreted only from neurons located in the hypothalamus, are now recognized neurotransmitters, produced in and secreted from distinct brain areas, associated with a myriad of motivated behaviours. This class of behaviour is determinant for individual and species survival, but they may be manifested in a large spectrum and deviations from average may give rise to a number of psychiatric conditions. This Research Topic of Frontiers of Endocrinology will present articles on the regulatory role of neuropeptides on sleep, feeding-, maternal-, and social behaviours. In addition, the implication of neuropeptides on both ends of this spectrum – lack of motivation or excessive motivation – will also be discussed, as more and more, changes in neuropeptide production such as NPY, oxytocin, corticotropin-releasing hormone, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone and opioids have been shown to mediate depression, anxiety, drug addiction, eating and social disorders.
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