Gene expression of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) in the rat hypothalamus

J Hannibal, J D Mikkelsen, H Clausen, J J Holst, B S Wulff, J Fahrenkrug


Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) isolated from ovine hypothalamus is considered to be a member of the vasoactive intestinal peptide/glucagon/secretin/growth hormone-releasing hormone family of peptides. Two forms of PACAP, PACAP38 and PACAP27, have been demonstrated in the rat hypothalamus. The PACAP precursor contains another peptide called PACAP-related peptide (PRP), but so far no information on this peptide in tissue exists. We have developed three radioimmunoassays specific for PACAP38, PACAP27 and PRP and demonstrate that all three preproPACAP peptides are expressed in the rat hypothalamus, the PACAP38/PACAP27 ratio being around 60 and the PACAP38/PRP ratio being around 10. HPLC analysis of hypothalamic extract showed that PACAP38 and PACAP27 are found in only one form corresponding to the respective synthetic peptides, whereas PRP eluted in two peaks, the predominant form corresponding to synthetic PRP1-29. The cellular distribution of PACAP38, PACAP27, and PRP and corresponding mRNA in the hypothalamus was determined with immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization histochemistry. PACAP- and PRP-immunoreactive neuronal perikarya were observed in the medial parvocellular part of the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in colchicine pretreated rats. Some cell bodies of magnocellular variety were found in the PVN. PACAP mRNA containing cells were observed in moderate numbers in the same parts of the paraventricular nucleus. PACAP- and PRP immunoreactive fibres and varicosities were distributed in the PVN and in the periventricular nucleus. These data show that PACAP38, PACAP27 and PRP are expressed in the parvocellular part of the PVN, implying roles as hypothalamic regulatory peptides.

TidsskriftRegulatory Peptides
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)133-48
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 26 jan. 1995
Udgivet eksterntJa


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