Peptide Receptors in CNS

  • Roger A. Nicoll
Part of the Handbook of Psychopharmacology book series (HBKPS, volume 4)


The existence of peptide receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) has been considered a possibility for over 20 years. Two lines of evidence form the basis for this possibility. First, neurons in the CNS are known to contain peptides. For instance, the peptide substance P is widely distributed in the CNS, suggesting that neurons might utilize this substance as a neurotransmitter. A pharmacological action was, however, difficult to define clearly for many years, owing to technical difficulties, including impurities in the extracts of substance P. Recent experiments with pure, synthetic substance P have shown it to act on central neurons. Also, the peptides antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin are synthesized by the hypothalamic neurosecretory cells. Formerly it was thought that these cells released their peptide secretions exclusively into the vascular system for peripheral action, but there is now both anatomical and physiological evidence that these “peptidergic” neurons participate in synaptic events in the CNS. However, direct proof that these peptide hormones are the transmitter substances released by neurosecretory cells has been limited.


Cerebral Spinal Fluid Peptide Receptor Neurosecretory Cell Area Postrema Subfornical Organ 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger A. Nicoll
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineState University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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