Urotensin II, a novel peptide in central and peripheral cardiovascular control

Anna M.D. Watson, Clive N. May

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Urotensin II (UII) is a peptide that was originally isolated and characterized in fish. Interest in its effects in mammals increased with the identification of its receptor, G-protein coupled receptor 14, and its localization in humans. UII and its receptor have a wide distribution, including brain and spinal cord as well as heart, kidney and liver, implying that UII has important physiological actions. Recent studies suggest that UII may play an important role in the central nervous system. In conscious sheep, intracerebroventricular administration of UII induced large, prolonged increases in plasma epinephrine, adrenocorticotropic hormone, cardiac output and arterial pressure. Potent chronotropic and inotropic actions accompanied this, as well as peripheral vasodilatation. Administered intravenously, UII is an extremely potent vasoconstrictor in anesthetized monkeys, but reduces pressure in conscious and anesthetized rats, and causes a transient increase in conscious sheep, however vasomotor responses vary depending on species and vessel type. UII is elevated in conditions such as essential hypertension and heart failure suggesting a role in pathology. The results of studies with UII to date, together with its possible role in disease, emphasize the importance of examining the central and peripheral roles of UII in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1766
Number of pages8
Issue number10 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Cardiac output
  • Chronotropic
  • Epinephrine
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Inotropic
  • Intracerebroventricular
  • Intravenous
  • Regional blood flow
  • Review
  • Sheep
  • Urotensin II

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