Adrenomedullin is a potent vasodilator peptide that was isolated from pheochromocytoma. Localization of adrenomedullin-like immunoreactivity was studied by immunocytochemistry in the human hypothalamus and adrenal gland. Adrenomedullin-immunoreactive cell bodies were found in the paraventricular, supraoptic and infundibular nuclei of the hypothalamus. Both magnocellular and parvocellular cells of the paraventricular nucleus were positively immunostained. Adrenomedullin-like immunoreactivity was localized in the adrenal medulla. No positive immunostaining was observed in the vascular endothelium, vascular smooth muscle cell or adrenal cortex. The preabsorption of the antiserum with synthetic human adrenomedullin (1-52) abolished the immunostaining. These findings indicate that adrenomedullin-like immunoreactivity is localized in the paraventricular, supraoptic and infundibular nuclei as well as in the adrenal medulla, and suggest that adrenomedullin acts as a neurotransmitter, a neuromodulator or a neurohormone in the human hypothalamus.
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