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J Mol Neurosci. 2011 Feb;43(2):182-92. doi: 10.1007/s12031-010-9413-2. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Adrenomedullin 2/intermedin in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Applied Medical Science, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8575, Japan.


Adrenomedullin 2/intermedin (AM2/IMD) is a new member of the calcitonin/calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) family. CGRP, adrenomedullin (AM), and AM2/IMD share the receptor system consisting of calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR) and receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMP). The CRLR/RAMP2 or CRLR/RAMP3 complex forms the AM receptor, whereas the CRLR/RAMP1 forms the CGRP receptor. AM2/IMD binds non-selectively to all three CRLR/RAMP complexes. AM2/IMD has various actions, such as a potent vasodilator action and a protective action against oxidative stress, like AM and CGRP. When administered intracerebroventricularly, AM2/IMD stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases blood pressure. In human hypothalamus, AM2/IMD is expressed in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei and colocalized with arginine vasopressin. Anterior pituitary cells were diffusely immunostained for AM2/IMD. AM2/IMD stimulates the release of ACTH, prolactin, and oxytocin, but suppresses GH release. Some of these pituitary actions of AM2/IMD have been supposed to be mediated by an unidentified unique receptor for AM2/IMD. In the adrenal gland, immunoreactive (IR)-AM2/IMD and IR-AM were detected in the medulla, while the degree of IR-AM2/IMD and IR-AM in the cortex was relatively weak or undetectable. Furthermore, AM2/IMD and AM were expressed in adrenocortical tumors, such as aldosterone-secreting adenomas, and pheochromocytomas. CRLR and RAMPs are expressed in the hypothalamus, pituitaries, adrenal glands, and adrenal tumors. Thus, AM2/IMD is expressed in every endocrine organ of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis together with its receptor. AM2/IMD may act as a neurotransmitter or modulator in the brain and as a paracrine/autocrine regulator in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

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