noun, plural: neurotensins
A peptide with a chemical formula of C78H121N21O20
, present in the brain and the intestine, and performs general vascular and neuroendocrine actions
Neurotensin is a tridecapeptide hormone, i.e. a peptide comprised of 13 amino acids. It has a chemical formula of C78H121N21O20
. It was first isolated from bovine hypothalamus. The sequence of bovine neurotensin was identified to be: pyroGlu-Leu-Tyr-Glu-Asn-Pro-Arg-Arg-Pro-Tyr-Ile-Leu-OH.
Neurotensin functions as a neurotransmitter. It is synthesized and released by a neuron and serves as a signal to another neuron. Neurotensin also acts as a neuropeptide hormone. Neurotensin is present in nervous tissues, particularly in the synapsomes in the hypothalamus, amygdala, basal ganglia, and dorsal gray matter of the spinal cord. Its physiological role is implicated in analgesia, thermoregulation (particularly, the induction of hypothermia), and regulation of dopamine pathways. Neurotensin is also produced in the small intestine tissues, particularly by the enteroendocrine cells. Here, neurotensin is involved in secretion and smooth muscle contraction. Neurotensin is presumed to be associated as well with the regulation of the release of the hormones, luteinizing hormone and prolactin.