The study of the Urocortin family of peptides is becoming increasingly important clinically, as new discoveries have revealed that their roles in the body are extremely diverse. They range from being involved in the aetiology of affective disorders, boosting the immune system, to cardioprotection during ischaemia and reperfusion injury. Therefore, it is important to understand how these peptides become activated, how they activate different cell types and finally their intracellular signalling pathways. Such studies may enable scientists to develop clinical therapies based on their mechanism of action, which may be used to alleviate a diverse range of pathologies.
Keywords: Corticotrophin-releasing hormone, Urocortin, cardiac ischaemia and reperfusion injury, Affymetrix gene chip microarrays, affective disorders, cardiomyocyte mitochondria
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