Urotensin II (UII) and Urotensin II-related peptide (URP) are structurally related paralog peptides that exert peripheral and central effects. UII binding sites have been partly described in brain, and those of URP have never been reported. We exhaustively compared [(125)I]-UII and -URP binding site distributions in the adult rat brain, and found that they fully overlapped at the regional level. We observed UII/URP binding sites in structures lining ventricles, comprising the sphenoid nucleus and cell rafts scattered on a line joining the fourth ventricle and its lateral recess. After injection of UII and URP in the lateral ventricle, we observed c-Fos-positive cell nuclei in areas close to the fourth ventricle, indicating that these receptors are functional. Different c-Fos-containing cell populations were activated. They were all positive for vimentin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), excluding the possibility of an ependymal nature. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that UII and URP binding sites are totally overlapping and that these sites were functional in regions bordering the fourth ventricle. These data support a role for UII/URP at the interface between brain parenchyma and cerebrospinal fluid.
Keywords: CSF; UT receptor; autoradiography; c-Fos; immunohistochemistry; ventricular system.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.