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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 5;7(1):10468. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-10319-9.

Identification of neuromedin U precursor-related peptide and its possible role in the regulation of prolactin release.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Suita, Osaka, 565-8565, Japan.
2
Division of Searching and Identification of Bioactive Peptides, Department of Bioactive Peptides, Frontier Science Research Center, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Miyazaki, 889-1692, Japan.
3
Division of Research & Inspection for Infectious Diseases, Center for Animal Disease Control, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Miyazaki, 889-1692, Japan.
4
Department of Veterinary Physiology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Miyazaki, 889-2192, Japan.
5
Department of Biochemistry, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Suita, Osaka, 565-8565, Japan. kangawa@ri.ncvc.go.jp.

Abstract

The discovery of neuropeptides provides insights into the regulation of physiological processes. The precursor for the neuropeptide neuromedin U contains multiple consensus sequences for proteolytic processing, suggesting that this precursor might generate additional peptides. We performed immunoaffinity chromatography of rat brain extracts and consequently identified such a product, which we designated neuromedin U precursor-related peptide (NURP). In rat brain, NURP was present as two mature peptides of 33 and 36 residues. Radioimmunoassays revealed NURP immunoreactivity in the pituitary, small intestine, and brain of rats, with the most intense reactivity in the pituitary. Intracerebroventricular administration of NURP to both male and female rats robustly increased plasma concentrations of prolactin but not of other anterior pituitary hormones. In contrast, NURP failed to stimulate prolactin release from dispersed anterior pituitary cells. Pretreatment of rats with bromocriptine, a dopamine receptor agonist, blocked the prolactin-releasing activity of NURP. In rats pretreated with the antagonist sulpiride, intracerebroventricular administration of NURP did not increase plasma prolactin concentrations more than administration of saline. These data suggest that NURP induces prolactin release by acting indirectly on the pituitary; dopamine from the hypothalamus, which inhibits prolactin release, may be involved in this activity of NURP.

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