Brain research. Molecular brain research vol:71 issue:2 pages:244-55
Although, since the isolation of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), a wealth of literature has been published describing its localization, binding sites, and biological activities in a variety of mammalian tissues, only very little is known about PACAP in avian species. Therefore, in order to find out the sites of actions of PACAP and to elucidate its physiological significance in birds, we identified a chicken PACAP receptor homologue of the mammalian type I receptors (PAC(1)-Rs). The chicken PACAP type I cDNA sequence was obtained using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in combination with 3'- and 5'-RACE PCR. This cDNA encodes a 471 amino acid precursor protein, sharing 81-83% sequence identity with mammalian analogs and 76% amino acid identity with the goldfish type I PACAP receptor. Northern blot analysis of chicken brain poly(A)(+)-rich RNA revealed the presence of a 5.5 kb and 7.5 kb PAC(1) receptor transcript. RT-PCR revealed that the chicken PACAP receptor is mainly expressed in the brain and gonads. A smaller amount of the receptor mRNA was found in pituitary, adrenal gland, kidney, intestine, pancreas, lung, and heart tissue. In situ hybridization with specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide probes showed a widespread distribution of PAC(1) receptor mRNA in the chicken brain, with the highest expression being found in the dorsal telencephalon, olfactory bulb, hypothalamus, optic tectum, and cerebellar cortex. These findings suggest that PACAP affect a variety of functions both in the brain and peripheral tissues of the chicken.