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Neuropeptidases, Stress, and Memory—A Promising Perspective

I. Prieto A.B. Segarra M. de Gasparo M. Ramírez-Sánchez

*Corresponding author: M. Ramírez-Sánchez msanchez@ujaen.es

neuroscience2016,4,487doi:10.3934/Neuroscience.2016.4.487

Stress has been demonstrated to be a key modulator in learning and memory processes, in which the hippocampus plays a central role. A great number of neuropeptides have been reported to modulate learning and memory under stressful conditions. Neuropeptidases are proteolytic enzymes capable of regulating the function of neuropeptides in the central and peripheral nervous system. In this regard, a number of neuropeptidases, i.e. angiotensinases, oxytocinase, or enkephalinases, have received attention. Their involvement in stress and memory processes is a promising perspective, as it is possible to influence their activities through various activators or inhibitors and, consequently, to pharmacologically modulate the functions of the endogenous substrates that are involved. The present review describes the key findings showing the involvement of neuropeptides and neuropeptidases in stress and memory and highlights the role of the hippocampus in these processes.

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