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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2008 May 14;286(1-2):88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2007.12.014. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

Cortistatin--functions in the central nervous system.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


Cortistatin (CST) is a neuropeptide from the somatostatin (SRIF)/urotensin (UII) family named after its predominantly cortical expression and ability to depress cortical activity, which was discovered a decade ago. In vitro assays show CST is able to bind all five cloned somatostatin receptors and shares many pharmacological and functional properties with SRIF. However, distinct from SRIF, CST has been shown to induce slow-wave sleep, reduce locomotor activity, and activate cation selective currents not responsive to somatostatin. Different lines of evidence also indicate that CST, like SRIF, is involved in learning and memory processes. CST-14 may also function as an endogenous anti-convulsant. In addition to its role in cortical synchronization, CST-14 has emerged as an important mediator of immunity and inflammation. This review will cover some of the basic properties of CST in the brain, and will discuss new data on the role of CST in cortical activity.

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