The lumbar spinal cord contains local neural circuits that are important in regulating male sexual behaviours, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these systems remain elusive. Gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) is a member of the bombesin-like peptide family first isolated from the porcine stomach. Despite extensive pharmacological studies on the activity of bombesin-like peptides administered to mammals, little is known about the physiological functions of GRP in the spinal cord. We review recent findings on a system of neurones in the upper lumbar spinal cord, within the recently reported ejaculation generator, projecting axons containing GRP to the lower lumbar spinal cord and innervating regions known to control erection and ejaculation.
- Gastrin-releasing peptide
- Lumbar spinal cord
- Male sexual behaviour
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience