Cocaine- and amphetamine related transcript (CART) and anxiety

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Abstract

CART is a neuropeptide that appears to play an important role in a variety of physiological processes. The major research focus into the function of CART peptide has been on feeding behavior, modulation of mesolimbic dopamine, and actions of psychostimulant drugs. The neuroanatomic expression profile of CART does however suggest other functions as well, and its presence within the limbic system points to a possible role in emotionality. There are now several published reports which describe a new role for CART as a mediator of anxiety-like behaviors in rodents. This review will summarize these findings and speculate on the mechanisms by which CART might be involved in the modulation of these behaviors. We will also consider what future studies need to be done to further clarify the role of this peptide in anxiety.

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