Distribution of neuropeptide W immunoreactivity and mRNA in adult rat brain

Yoji Kitamura, Hirokazu Tanaka, Toshiyuki Motoike, Makoto Ishii, S. Clay Williams, Masashi Yanagisawa, Takeshi Sakurai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Neuropeptide W (NPW) is a recently identified neuropeptide that binds to G-protein-coupled receptor (GPR) 7, which is highly expressed in several discrete regions of the rodent brain including the central amygdaloid nucleus and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Although several reports suggested that NPW is implicated in the regulation of energy homeostasis and nociception, the precise physiological role of NPW has remained unclear. In this study, we examined distribution of NPW messenger RNA and NPW immunoreactivity in the adult rat brain. NPW-immunoreactive (ir) cells were detected in the ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, and Edinger-Westphal nucleus. NPW-ir fibers were observed in several brain regions, including the lateral septum, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, dorsomedial and posterior hypothalamus, central amygdaloid nucleus, CA1 field of hippocampus, interpeduncular nucleus, inferior colliculus, lateral parabrachial nucleus, facial nucleus, and hypoglossal nucleus. NPW-ir fibers were most abundantly observed in the central amygdaloid nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, which are regions implicated in fear and anxiety. These results suggest that NPW might be involved in the regulation of stress and emotive responses, especially in fear and anxiety-related physiological and behavioral functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 6 2006


  • Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis
  • Brainstem
  • Central amygdaloid nucleus
  • Neuropeptide W

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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