Neurotensin is a 13 amino acid peptide, released by the hypothalamus and synthesized as part of a larger precursor protein that also includes the related neuropeptide neuromedin N. Implicated in the regulation of leutinizing hormone and prolactin release, neurotensin also has a significant interaction with the dopaminergic system. Intrathecal neurotensin has also been shown to be anti-nociceptive.
Neurotensin-CTA is a chemical conjugate of neurotensin and the catalytic A subunit of cholera toxin. It stimulates cells expressing neurotensin receptors by activating the cAMP pathway within the cells by ribosylating adenylate cyclase. Cells which do not have the cell surface marker are not affected.