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Mol Pharmacol. 1999 May;55(5):804-11.

Gene for pain modulatory neuropeptide NPFF: induction in spinal cord by noxious stimuli.

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1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

Neuropeptides FF (NPFF), AF (NPAF), and SF (NPSF) are homologous amidated peptides that were originally identified on the basis of similarity to the molluscan neuropeptide FMRF-amide. They have been hypothesized to have wide-ranging functions in the mammalian central nervous system, including pain modulation, opiate function, cardiovascular regulation, and neuroendocrine function. We have cloned the NPFF gene from human, bovine, rat, and mouse, and show that the precursor mRNA encodes for all three of the biochemically identified peptides (NPFF, NPAF, and NPSF). We demonstrate that NPFF precursor mRNA expression by Northern analysis and map sites of expression by in situ hybridization. We confirm the validity of the in situ hybridization by showing that its distribution in the brain and spinal cord matches the distribution of NPFF and NPSF immunoreactivity. We go on to show that the mRNA levels (as measured by in situ hybridization) in the spinal cord can be up-regulated by a model for inflammatory pain (carrageenan injection), but not by a model for neuropathic pain (lumbar nerve ligation). Our results confirm the evolutionary conservation of NPFF, NPAF, and NPSF neuropeptide expression in mammalian brain. They also provide a context for the interpretation of the pain-sensitizing effects of injections of these peptides that have been previously reported. Our results support a model for the role of these peptides in pain regulation at the level of the spinal cord.

PMID:
10220558
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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