Neuromedins (Nm), peptides involved in smooth muscle contraction, are comprised of bombesin-like (NmB, NmC), kassinin-like (NmL and NmK or neurokinins A and B), and neurotensin-like (NmN) Neuromedin U (NmU). NmU, first isolated from extracts of procine spinal cord, is a naturally occurring ligand for the orphan receptor FM3, but not Neuromedins B, C, K and N. Two molecular forms were isolated; NmU-8 and NmU-25. NmU-like immunoreactivity has been detected in the mammalian brain neurons, the gastrointestinal tracts of various species and the thyroid and endocrine cells of the pituitary gland. Besides its role in smooth muscle contraction, NmU has been implicated in hypertension and neurotransmission. NmK was first isolated from porcine spinal cord using bioassays for a tachykinin-like effect on the contractility of smooth muscle preparation and may be involved in neural transmission.
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