Primary structure, distribution, and effects on motility of CGRP in the intestine of the cod Gadus morhua

Fatemeh Shahbazi, Paul Karila, Catharina Olsson, Susanne Holmgren, J. Michael Conlon, Jörgen Jensen

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Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) was isolated from an extract of the intestine of the cod Gadus morhua. The primary structure of this 37- amino acid peptide was established as follows: ACNTA TCVTH RLADF LSRSG GIGNS NFVPT NVGSK AF-NH2. The peptide shows close structural similarities to other nonmammalian (3-4 amino acid substitutions) and mammalian (5-8 amino acid substitutions) CGRPs, and it contains the two residues Asp14 and Phe15 that seem to be characteristic for CGRP in nonmammalian vertebrates. Cod CGRP (10-9-10-7 M) inhibited the motility of spontaneously active ring preparations from the cod intestine and was significantly (P <0.05) more potent than rat α-CGRP. Neither prostaglandins nor nitric oxide is involved in the inhibitory response produced by cod CGRP, and the lack of effect of tetrodotoxin suggests an action of CGRP on receptors on the intestinal smooth muscle cells. The competitive CGRP antagonist human α-CGRP-(8-37) significantly (P <0.05) reduced the response to cod CGRP. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated CGRP-immunoreactive neurons intrinsic to the intestine, and a dense innervation with immunoreactive nerve fibers was observed in the myenteric plexus and the circular muscle layer. Myotomy studies show that CGRP-containing nerves project orally and anally in the myenteric plexus, whereas nerve fibers in the circular muscle layer project mainly anally, indicating a role for CGRP in descending inhibitory pathways of the cod intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R19-R28
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1 44-1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jul 1998


  • Fish
  • Teleost


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