Two novel bioactive peptides termed neuromedin U-8 and neuromedin U-25 have recently been isolated from porcine spinal cord but nothing is known of their occurrence and molecular forms in other species. Following gel permeation chromatography, a specific radioimmunoassay detected only a single molecular form of neuromedin U-like immunoreactivity (NmU-LI) in rat, porcine and human central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. Only guinea pig tissue extracts revealed two molecular forms of NmU-Li. Reverse phase high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) analysis demonstrated that porcine NmU-LI co-eluted with synthetic neuromedin U-25 standard. Human and rat NmU-LI however, was more hydrophobic on HPLC thus indicating species differences.