Author(s): SzczepaskaSadowska E
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Abstract Growing number of studies reveal that the brain neural network plays significant role in the short-term and long-term regulation of the cardiovascular functions. The neurons involved in the complex neurogenic control of the cardiovascular system use classical neurotransmitters and nonconventional mediators such as peptides (angiotensin II, vasopressin, natriuretic peptides, endothelins, opioids, cytokines), steroids, ouabain-like factors and gaseous compounds. Among them the neuropeptides form a group of substances arising significant interest. Thanks to wide distribution of peptidergic neurons in the central nervous system, location of peptide receptors on neurons and glial cells, versatile but frequently overlapping mechanisms of activation of the intracellular processes the neuropeptides play significant role in short-term and long-term regulation of excitability and remodeling of the neurons. In several instances they modulate effects of the classical transmitting systems involved in regulation blood pressure, heart rate, water-electrolyte balance, metabolism, stress, pain, mood and memory. Prolonged activation or inhibition of specific neuropeptide pathways frequently results in long-lasting disorders of several regulatory systems. In this review this is exemplified by overactivity of angiotensin II, vasopressin and cytokines in the brain during hypertension, heart failure and stress. Multifarious actions of angiotensin II and vasopressin, and their mutual interaction with cytokines make of these neuropeptides excellent candidates for the compounds responsible for long-term resetting of the central cardiovascular control, and forming a link between the cardiovascular diseases, stress and mood disorders.
This article was published in J Physiol Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology