Brain peptides: what, where, and why?

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Science  02 Dec 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4627, pp. 975-985
DOI: 10.1126/science.6139875


Within the past decade, a large number of peptides have been described within the vertebrate central nervous system. Some of these peptides were previously known to be present in nonneural vertebrate tissues, as well as in lower species, in which they may serve as primitive elements of intercellular communication prior to the development of neuronal or endocrine systems. In vertebrates, these peptides are thought to have neurotransmitter or neuromodulatory roles and appear to be involved in the regulation of a number of homeostatic systems, although the mechanisms of their actions are still unclear.