2002 年 122 巻 12 号 p. 1109-1121
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) has been conserved remarkably during evolution and is widely expressed in the nervous system across phyla. PACAP has an amino acid sequence homology of 68% with that of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) and of 37% with that of secretin, indicating that PACAP is a member of the VIP/glucagon/secretin superfamily. PACAP exerts its actions via three heptahelical G-protein-linked receptors: one PACAP-specific (PAC1) receptor and two receptors (VPAC1 and VPAC2) shared with VIP. PACAP stimulates several different signaling cascades in neurons, leading to the activation of adenylate cyclase, phospholipase C, and mitogen-activated protein kinase and mobilization of calcium. Although PACAP and VIP have no apparent homology with calcitonin and parathyroid hormone (PTH), PAC1, VPAC, secretin, glucagon, glucagon-like peptide 1, growth hormone-releasing hormone, calcitonin, and PTH/PTH-related peptide receptors are related to each other and constitute a subfamily of the G-protein-coupled receptors. Distribution analysis of PACAP and its receptors and pharmacological studies have elucidated its pleiotropic effects in the central and peripheral nervous systems. However, the relevance of the pharmacological PACAP effects to the actual physiological activities of endogenous PACAP has not been addressed, because potent and selective low-molecular-weight PACAP antagonists have not yet been developed. To assess the function of PACAP in vivo, we have recently generated PAC1 receptor- and PACAP-targeted mice, and provided evidence that PACAP plays a previously uncharacterized role in the regulation of psychomotor behaviors. In this review, we focus on the physiological and or pathophysiological roles mediated by PACAP in the nervous system.