Expression of peptide YY (PYY) in the human brain and pituitary tissues was studied by radioimmunoassay, immunocytochemistry, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The polyclonal antibody raised against human PYY1-36 in a rabbit was used in the assay, which showed 100% cross-reactivity with PYY3-36 and no significant cross-reactivity with other peptides including neuropeptide Y and pancreatic polypeptide. The highest concentration of immunoreactive PYY was found in the hypothalamus (0.44 ± 0.060 pmol/g of wet weight, mean ± SEM, n = 8), followed by the pituitary (0.41 ± 0.16 pmol/g of wet weight, n = 3). Reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography of tissue extracts of human rectum and cortical brain showed a peak eluted in the position of authentic PYY1-36 and PYY3-36. Immunocytochemistry showed positive immunostaining for PYY in neurons of the paraventricular, arcuate, and supraoptic nuclei of the human hypothalamus. Moreover, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis showed expression of mRNA for PYY in human brain and pituitary tissues. The present study has shown for the first time expression of PYY in the human brain and pituitary tissues, suggesting a role for PYY as a neurotransmitter, in the neuroendocrine physiology, such as regulation of appetite and energy expenditure and modulation of pituitary hormone secretion.
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