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Vitam Horm. 2005;71:433-53.

Cholecystokinin and adrenal-cortex secretion.

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Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Section of Anatomy, University of Padua, I-35121 Padua, Italy.


Cholecystokinin, or CCK, is a 33-amino acid peptide, originally considered a gut hormone, that acts via two subtypes of receptors, named CCK1-R and CCK2-R. CCK, along with its receptors, has been subsequently localized in the central nervous system, where it exerts, among other fuctions, antiorexinogenic actions. In this survey, we describe findings indicating that CCK, similar to other peptides modulating food intake (e.g., neuropeptide Y, leptin, and orexins), is also able to regulate the function of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, acting on both its central and peripheral branches. CCK stimulates aldosterone secretion via specific receptors (CCK1-Rs and CCK2-Rs in rats, and CCK2-Rs in humans) located in zona glomerulosa cells and coupled to the adenylate cyclase-dependent signaling cascade; and enhances glucocorticoid secretion from zona fasciculata-reticularis cells via an indirect mechanism mainly involving the CCK2-R-mediated stimulation of corticotropin-releasing hormone-dependent ACTH release.

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