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FCAP (Feeding Circuit-Activating Peptides)
New Obesity Peptides and Modulatory Neuropeptides 

Identification and characterization of the feeding circuit-activating peptides, a novel neuropeptide family of aplysia
We use a multidisciplinary approach to identify, map, and characterize the bioactivity of modulatory neuropeptides in the circuitry that generates feeding behavior in Aplysia. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of the cerebral-buccal connective (CBC), a nerve containing axons of many interneurons that control feeding behavior of Aplysia, was used to identify neuropeptides that may participate in generation and shaping of feeding motor programs. Using this functionally oriented search, we identified a novel family of peptides that we call the feeding circuit-activating peptides (FCAPs). Two peptides with masses identical to those observed in the CBCs (molecular weight 1387 and 1433) were purified from buccal ganglia and partially sequenced using mass spectrometry. The amino acid sequence was then used to clone the FCAP precursor, which encodes multiple copies of eight different FCAPs. The two FCAPs present in highest copy number correspond to those observed in the CBC. The distribution of FCAP expression was mapped using Northern analysis, whole-mount in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry. Consistent with our initial findings, FCAP-immunopositive axons were observed in the CBC. Furthermore, we found that FCAP was present in some cerebral-buccal and buccal-cerebral interneurons. As their name suggests, FCAPs are capable of initiating rhythmic feeding motor programs and are the first neuropeptides with such activity in this circuit. The actions of FCAPs suggest that these peptides may contribute to the induction and maintenance of food-induced arousal. FCAPs were also localized to several other neuronal systems, suggesting that FCAPs may play a role in the regulation of multiple behaviors.
Sweedler JV, et al. J Neurosci. 2002 Sep 1;22(17):7797-808
Two neuropeptides colocalized in a command-like neuron use distinct mechanisms to enhance its fast synaptic connection
In many neurons more than one peptide is colocalized with a classical neurotransmitter. The functional consequence of such an arrangement has been rarely investigated. Here, within the feeding circuit of Aplysia, we investigate at a single synapse the actions of two modulatory neuropeptides that are present in a cholinergic interneuron. In combination with previous work, our study shows that the command-like neuron for feeding, CBI-2, contains two neuropeptides, FCAP (feeding circuit activating peptide) and CP2 (cerebral peptide 2). Previous studies showed that high-frequency pre-stimulation or repeated stimulation of CBI-2 increases the size of CBI-2 to B61/62 EPSPs and shortens the latency of firing of neuron B61/62 in response to CBI-2 stimulation. We find that both FCAP and CP2 mimic these two effects. The variance method of quantal analysis indicates that FCAP increases the calculated quantal size (q) and CP2 increases the calculated quantal content (m) of EPSPs. Since the PSP amplitude represents the product of q and m, the joint action of the two peptides is expected to be cooperative. This observation suggests a possible functional implication for multiple neuropeptides colocalized with a classical neurotransmitter in one neuron.

Koh HY, et al. J Neurophysiol. 2003 Jul 2 [Epub ahead of print]

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