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Brain neuropeptide S: via GPCR activation to a powerful neuromodulator of socio-emotional behaviors

Grund, Thomas, Neumann, Inga D.
Cell and tissue research 2019 v.375 no.1 pp. 123-132
G-protein coupled receptors, anxiety, brain, corticotropin-releasing hormone, electrophysiology, genes, humans, neuropeptides, oxytocin, pathogenesis, rodents, single nucleotide polymorphism, social behavior
Neuropeptide S (NPS) has attracted the attention of the scientific community due to its potent anxiolytic-like and fear-attenuating effects studied in rodents. Therefore, NPS might represent a treatment option for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety disorders, even more so as single nucleotide polymorphisms in the human NPS receptor gene have been associated with increased anxiety traits that contribute to the pathogenesis of fear- and anxiety-related disorders. However, the signaling mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of NPS and the interaction with other brain neuropeptides are still rather unknown. To illuminate how NPS modulates the expression of selected emotional and social behaviors, the present review focuses on neuroanatomical and electrophysiological studies, as well as intracellular signaling mechanisms following NPS receptor stimulation in rodents. We will also discuss interactions of the NPS system with two well-described neuropeptides, namely corticotropin-releasing factor and oxytocin, which may contribute to the fear- and anxiety-reducing effects.