Orexins (orexin-A and orexin-B) are hypothalamic peptides that are produced by the same precursor and are involved in sleep/wake control, which is mediated by two G protein-coupled receptor subtypes, OX1R and OX2R. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease, (IBD) which is characterized by long-lasting inflammation and ulcers that affect the colon and rectum mucosa and is known to be a significant risk factor for colon cancer development. Based on our recent studies showing that OX1R is aberrantly expressed in colon cancer, we wondered whether orexin-A could play a role in UC. Immunohistochemistry studies revealed that OX1R is highly expressed in the affected colonic epithelium of most UC patients, but not in the non-affected colonic mucosa. Injection of exogenous orexin-A specifically improved the inflammatory symptoms in the two colitis murine models. Conversely, injection of inactive orexin-A analog, OxB7-28 or OX1R specific antagonist SB-408124 did not have anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, treatment with orexin-A in DSS-colitis induced OX1R-/- knockout mice did not have any protective effect. The orexin-A anti-inflammatory effect was due to the decreased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in immune cells and specifically in T-cells isolated from colonic mucosa. Moreover, orexin-A inhibited canonical NFκB activation in an immune cell line and in intestinal epithelial cell line. These results suggest that orexin-A might represent a promising alternative to current UC therapies.