Expression of adrenomedullin and its receptor during embryogenesis suggests autocrine or paracrine modes of action
Embryo, Mammalian/chemistry
Membrane Proteins/analysis
Receptors, Peptide
Issue Date: 
Endocrine Society
Montuenga LM, Martinez A, Miller MJ, Unsworth EJ, Cuttitta F. Expression of adrenomedullin and its receptor during embryogenesis suggests autocrine or paracrine modes of action. Endocrinology 1997 Jan;138(1):440-451.
The present study reports the developmental patterns of expression of adrenomedullin (AM) in rat and mouse embryos. AM is a novel multifunctional peptide recently isolated from a human pheochromocytoma, which has been shown to promote growth in a variety of mammalian cell lines. We have applied several techniques to investigate the localization of both the AM peptide and its receptor throughout development. Immunocytochemical detection has been performed using different specific antibodies against AM and its gene-related peptide pro-AM N-terminal 20 peptide. In situ hybridization showed the localization of the messenger RNAs for AM and its receptor. Western blot analysis together with reverse transcription-PCR gave further support to the localization of AM and its receptor in a variety of embryonic tissues. The localization of the receptor paralleled that of AM itself, suggesting an autocrine or paracrine mode of action. The spatio-temporal pattern of expression of AM in cardiovascular, neural, and skeletal-forming tissues as well as in the main embryonic internal organs is described. The primitive placenta, especially the giant trophoblastic cells, shows high levels of AM and AM receptor. The heart is the first organ that expresses AM during development. The kidney, lung, and developing tooth, in which epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are taking place, show specific patterns of AM expression. In several regions of the embryo, the patterns of AM expression correspond to the degree of differentiation. The possible involvement of AM in the control of embryonic invasion, proliferation, and differentiation is discussed.

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