Neuropeptide FF was originally identified as a mammalian counterpart of the molluscan cardioactive peptide FMRF-amide (Yang et al., 1985), found in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord, hypothalamus, medulla and pituitary gland (Kivipelto et al. 1989). The findings that the peptide is present in the hypothalamo-pituitary system, decreases during salt-loading and is deficient in the pituitary gland of vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro rats, implicate NPFF involvement in hypothalamic regulation of pituitary functions (Majane and Yang, 1991; Majane and Yang, 1990; Majane et al., 1993). Peripherally administered NPFF raises blood pressure in rats, an effect mediated by both peripheral and central mechanisms (Allard et al., 1995; Laguzi et al., 1996). NPFF has also been implicated in sensory systems, most notably pain and morphine analgesia (Yang et al., 1985). Intracerebroventricular NPFF has been reported to induce a vigorous abstinence syndrome in morphine-tolerant rats. NPFF has attenuated the antinociceptive effects of morphine when administered in the third ventricle, whereas intrathecal NPFF produces long-lasting antinociception (Gouarderes et al., 1993).
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