VIP Brain Distribution

VIP has been localized in neuronal cell bodies, axons and dendrites, and presynaptic nerve terminals from which VIP is released as a neurotransmitter. In the CNS, VIP is present in the cerebral cortex, the hypothalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, corpus striatum, and the vagal centers of the medulla oblongata (Usdin, Bonner, and Mezey 1994; Wei and Mojsov 1996). VIP receptors are widely distributed in cerebral cortex, amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, olfactory lobes, thalamus, and SCN. In contrast, VIP receptors are present in lower concentrations in hippocampus, brainstem, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia. VIP is also involved in the release of other hormones such as corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRH), PRL, oxytocin, and vasopressin (Table 5.1).

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