This article is a transcription of an electronic symposium held on November 28, 2000 in which active researchers were invited by the Brazilian Society of Neuroscience and Behavior (SBNeC) to discuss the advances of the last decade in the peptide field with particular focus on central actions of prolactin and cholecystokinin. The comments in this symposium reflect the diversity of prolactin and cholecystokinin research and demonstrate how the field has matured. Since both peptides play a role in reproductive behaviors, particularly mother-infant interactions, this was the starting point of the discussion. Recent findings on the role of the receptor subtypes as well as interaction with other peptides in this context were also discussed. Another issue discussed was the possible role of these peptides in dopamine-mediated rewarding systems. Both prolactin and cholecystokinin are involved in mechanisms controlling food intake and somatic pain thresholds. The role of peripheral inputs through vagal afferents modulating behavior was stressed. The advent of knockout animals as potential generators of new knowledge in this field was also addressed. Finally, interactions with other neuropeptides and investigation of the role of these peptides in other fields such as immunology were mentioned. Knowledge about the central functions of prolactin and cholecystokinin has shown important advances. The role of these peptides in neurological and psychiatric syndromes such as anorexia, drug abuse and physiological disturbances that lead to a compromised maternal behavior seems relevant.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 12/2001; 34(11):1369-77. DOI:10.1590/S0100-879X2001001100002 · 1.03 Impact Factor