Biological actions of cholecystokinin

Peptides. 1994;15(4):731-55. doi: 10.1016/0196-9781(94)90104-x.


Cholecystokinin (CCK) has emerged as an important mammalian neuropeptide, localized in peripheral organs and in the central nervous system. This review presents an overview of the molecular aspects of CCK peptides and CCK receptors, the anatomical distribution of CCK, the neurophysiological actions of CCK, release of CCK and effects of CCK on release of other neurotransmitters, and the actions of CCK on digestion, feeding, cardiovascular function, respiratory function, neurotoxicity and seizures, cancer cell proliferation, analgesia, sleep, sexual and reproductive behaviors, memory, anxiety, and dopamine-mediated exploratory and rewarded behaviors. Human clinical studies of CCK in feeding disorders and panic disorders are described. New findings are presented on potent, nonpeptide CCK antagonists, selective for the two CCK receptor subtypes, which demonstrate that endogenous CCK has biologically important effects on physiology and behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Cholecystokinin / metabolism
  • Cholecystokinin / physiology*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Digestion / physiology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin / drug effects
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin / genetics
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin / metabolism


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin
  • Cholecystokinin