Pharmacological characterisation of amylin-related peptides activating subfornical organ neurones

Brain Res. 1999 Aug 7;837(1-2):161-8. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)01697-2.


Amylin, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and calcitonin are structurally related peptides with overlapping peripheral and central actions. Amylin and calcitonin excite the majority of neurones in the subfornical organ (SFO), where high densities of so-called C-type G-protein-coupled receptors have been detected. Subcutaneous injection of these hormones stimulates drinking similar to angiotensin II (ANGII), a dipsogen acting via the SFO. We now show that in addition to amylin and rat calcitonin (rCT), CGRP and salmon calcitonin (sCT) also excite SFO neurones. In extracellular recordings of an in vitro slice preparation of the SFO, 78% of all neurones (n=31) superfused with CGRP (10(-6) M) were excited. The excitatory effect was dose-dependent and reversible with an average threshold concentration of 5x10(-7) M, which is approximately 15-fold higher than reported for amylin-induced excitations. sCT (10(-7) M), which behaves as a non-competitive agonist at amylin as well as calcitonin receptors, caused irreversible excitatory responses in 96% of all recordings (n=26). Amylin-, CRGP- and rCT-induced excitations could be blocked by the selective amylin receptor antagonist AC187 (10(-5) to 10(-6) M), whereas sCT-induced excitations were not inhibited. The receptor antagonist human CGRP(8-37) (10(-6) M) partly caused agonistic responses, but did not block CGRP-induced excitations. The pharmacological profile observed in the present work, and in a recent publication using the same preparation, indicating (1) that CGRP is a weaker agonist in the SFO than amylin, (2) that sCT excites SFO neurones, and (3) that responses are blocked by AC187 but not by CGRP(8-37), is inconsistent with activation via CGRP receptors, but is instead consistent with involvement of amylin (C3) and calcitonin (C1) receptors, which are co-localized to a high degree on the same subset of SFO-neurones. We propose that it is unlikely that blood-borne CGRP has a significant effect on neurones in the SFO.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Calcitonin / pharmacology*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / pharmacology*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Male
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Salmon
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Subfornical Organ / drug effects
  • Subfornical Organ / physiology*


  • Amyloid
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor Antagonists
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Peptide Fragments
  • calcitonin gene-related peptide (8-37)
  • Calcitonin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide