Pharmacology and functions of receptors for vasoactive intestinal peptide and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide: IUPHAR Review 1

Authors


  • This is the first in a series of reviews written by committees of experts of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (NC-IUPHAR). A listing of all articles in the series and the Nomenclature Reports from IUPHAR published in Pharmacological Reviews can be found at http://www.GuideToPharmacology.org. This website, created in a collaboration between the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR), is intended to become a “one-stop shop” source of quantitative information on drug targets and the prescription medicines and experimental drugs that act on them. We hope that the Guide to Pharmacology will be useful for researchers and students in pharmacology and drug discovery and provide the general public with accurate information on the basic science underlying drug action.

Anthony J Harmar, University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK. E-mail: tony.harmar@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) are members of a superfamily of structurally related peptide hormones that includes glucagon, glucagon-like peptides, secretin, gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) and growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). VIP and PACAP exert their actions through three GPCRs – PAC1, VPAC1 and VPAC2– belonging to class B (also referred to as class II, or secretin receptor-like GPCRs). This family comprises receptors for all peptides structurally related to VIP and PACAP, and also receptors for parathyroid hormone, corticotropin-releasing factor, calcitonin and related peptides. PAC1 receptors are selective for PACAP, whereas VPAC1 and VPAC2 respond to both VIP and PACAP with high affinity. VIP and PACAP play diverse and important roles in the CNS, with functions in the control of circadian rhythms, learning and memory, anxiety and responses to stress and brain injury. Recent genetic studies also implicate the VPAC2 receptor in susceptibility to schizophrenia and the PAC1 receptor in post-traumatic stress disorder. In the periphery, VIP and PACAP play important roles in the control of immunity and inflammation, the control of pancreatic insulin secretion, the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and as co-transmitters in autonomic and sensory neurons. This article, written by members of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR) subcommittee on receptors for VIP and PACAP, confirms the existing nomenclature for these receptors and reviews our current understanding of their structure, pharmacology and functions and their likely physiological roles in health and disease. More detailed information has been incorporated into newly revised pages in the IUPHAR database (http://www.iuphar-db.org/DATABASE/FamilyMenuForward?familyId=67).

LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Secretin Family (Class B) G Protein-Coupled Receptors. To view the other articles in this section visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2012.166.issue-1

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