Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Vaccarino, Anthony

Second Advisor

Canavier, Carmen

Third Advisor

LaHoste, Gerald

Fourth Advisor

Daniel, Jill


The hypocretin peptides are two hypothalamic peptides known to be involved in both sleeping and feeding behavior, however their specific roles in these domains are not well understood. The present study sought to determine the effect of chronic (72-hour) sleep deprivation and (48-hour) food deprivation on preprohypocretin (PPH), which is the precursor for the hypocretin peptides. PPH levels were visualized and quantified via in situ hybridization. A three-factor ANOVA ( group x dorsal/ventral x medial/lateral) revealed a significant effect of subregion, specifically dorsal/middle and ventral/medial exhibited elevated PPH levels, however there was no effect of group. A between group one-way ANOVA revealed no effect of group on PPH levels. It is theorized that four possible domains may be responsible for these results: presence of hypothalamic neuronal subpopulations, role of circadian rhythm, role of hypocretins in locomotive behavior and inextricably confounded variables. These are discussed at length.


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