This chapter provides an overview of the processes of biosynthesis, routing and release of neurochemical messengers in two representative peptidergic systems, one of neuronal, the other of endocrine signature: the caudodorsal cell neurons (CDC) in the central nervous system of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis and the endocrine melanotrope cells in the pituitary pars intermedia of the clawed toad Xenopus laevis. The data presented in the chapter for the CDC and the melanotrope cells strongly indicate that neuronal and endocrine cell systems have many characteristics in common with respect to their input and output messengers, such as cells of both systems are able to produce more than one type of messenger, of which, the peptides are most conspicuous. Before the peptides are released, various intracellular differentiating processes may take place, such as differential storage of peptides into secretory vesicles, differential acetylation during posttranslational processing, activated final processing as a result of cellular activation, and release of different peptides from different cellular sites via different release mechanisms. The targets of these cells may be complex as well, as they may include neurons, gland cells, endocrine cells, and muscles. © 1992, Academic Press Inc.
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