Neurotensin is a tridecapeptide heterogeneously distributed in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. When administered into the central nervous system, the peptide produces hypothermia, analgesia, diminished locomotor activity and muscle relaxation. In addition neurotensin antagonizes certain amphetamine-induced behaviours and these observations taken together with data derived from experiments utilizing pharmacological blocking agents and neurotoxins, support the hypothesis that the peptide interacts with brain dopamine systems. Many of the effects of centrally administered neurotensin are antagonized by administration of the tripeptide, thyrotropin-releasing hormone. The effects of exogenously administered neurotensin suggest that endogenous neurotensin may participate in the regulation of a variety of physiological and behavioural processes.
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