Urocortins as cardiovascular peptides

Kazuhiro Takahashi, Kazuhito Totsune, Osamu Murakami, Shigeki Shibahara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Urocortins (Ucn) 1, 2 and 3, human homologues of fish urotensin I, form the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family, together with CRF, urotensin I and sauvagine. Ucn 3 is a novel member of this family and is a specific ligand for CRF type 2 receptor. CRF type 2 receptor is thought to mediate the stress-coping responses, such as anxiolysis, anorexia, vasodilatation, a positive inotropic action on myocardium and dearousal. Endogenous ligands for the CRF type 2 receptor expressed in the cardiovascular tissues, such as the myocardium, have long been unknown. We have shown expression of Ucn 3 as well as Ucn 1 in the human heart. Ucn 3 is also expressed in the kidney, particularly distal tubules. Studies in various rat tissues showed that high concentrations of immunoreactive Ucn 3 were found in the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, gastrointestinal tract, ovary and spleen in addition to the brain, heart and kidney. These observations suggest that Ucn 3 is expressed in various tissues including heart and kidney, and may regulate the circulation in certain aspects of stress and diseases, such as inflammation. Ucn 1 and 3 appear to have important pathophysiological roles in some cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1731
Number of pages9
Issue number10 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct


  • Corticotropin-releasing factor
  • Heart
  • Stress
  • Stresscopin
  • Urocortin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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