Measurement and Function of Neuropeptides
Peptides are now known to be a class of intercellular messengers that are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and various organs of the gastrointestinal tract. An intercellular messenger may be defined as “a substance released from one cell that is capable of modifying the functional activity of another neighboring or distant cell” (Brown & Fisher, 1984). Intercellular messengers may be hormones as in the classical sense or neurotropic substances that interact as neurotransmitters in the CNS. Most of the evidence for the action of neuropeptides as neurotransmitters centers on physiological and pharmacological-like activity of peptides administered exogenously, as well as identification of peptide receptors and to a limited extent the use of peptide antagonists. The actual measurement of release of neuropeptides has been limited, particularly as regards a neurotropic role in the CNS.
KeywordsCorticotropin Release Factor Arginine Vasopressin Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide Acoustic Startle Response Inhibitory Avoidance
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