Calcitonin gene-related peptide: multiple actions, multiple receptors

Pharmacol Ther. 1992;56(1):23-51. doi: 10.1016/0163-7258(92)90036-y.


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) shows diversity both in its effects and its receptors. It is likely to have roles as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, local hormone and trophic factor. Its effects include rapid changes in neuronal activity, relaxation of many types of smooth muscle, actions on metabolism and changes in gene expression. Receptor heterogeneity has been revealed from experiments comparing agonist potency ratios and antagonist affinities. The evidence from these approaches is reviewed in this article and a speculative receptor classification scheme is proposed. Some of the likely future directions for CGRP research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / pharmacology
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Receptors, Calcitonin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*


  • Receptors, Calcitonin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide