Role of bombesin-related peptides in the mediation or integration of the stress response

Z. Merali, P. Kent, H. Anisman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


In addition to the relatively well established role of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) in the mediation of the stress response, there is reason to believe that bombesin-like peptides (BN-LPs) may also contribute to the mediation or integration of these responses and thus might be considered as putative 'stress peptides'. This review provides evidence supporting this contention by showing that (i) BN-LPs are present at brain sites known to be activated by stressors, (ii) stressor exposure alters utilization of BN-related peptides, (iii) exogenous BN administration mimics the endocrine, autonomic and/or behavioral effects elicited by stressors, and (iv) antagonism of BN action attenuates the behavioral and/or neurochemical effects of stressors or of exogenously administered peptide. The evidence presented also suggests that BN-LPs mediate their stress-relevant effects through activation of CRH and/or AVP neurons. Several hypothetical mechanisms for such peptidergic interactions are discussed as to the implications of considering BN-LPs as 'stress peptides'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-287
Number of pages16
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastrin releasing peptide
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Neuromedin B
  • Pathology
  • Stress


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