Résumé : Previous data showing an increase of receptor binding activity of [R16]VIP, a vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) structural analogue containing arginine at the position 16 of its amino acid sequence, have pointed out the importance of a positive charge at this site. Here, the functional characterization of three VIP polyaminated adducts (VIPDap, VIPSpd, and VIPSpm), obtained by a transglutaminase-catalysed reaction between the VIP Gln16 residue and 1,3-diaminopropane (Dap), spermidine (Spd), or spermine (Spm), is reported. Appropriate binding assays and adenylate cyclase enzymatic determinations have shown that these VIP adducts act as structural VIP agonists, both in vitro and in vivo. In particular, their IC50 and EC50 values of human and rat VIP/pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP)1 and VIP/PACAP2 receptors indicate that VIPDap is a VIP agonist, with an affinity and a potency higher than that of VIP, while VIPSpd and VIPSpm are also agonists but with affinities lower than that of VIP. These findings suggest that the difference in adduct agonist activity reflects the differences in the positive charge and carbon chain length of the polyamine covalently linked with the VIP Gln16 residue. In addition, the data obtained strongly suggest that the length of polyamine carbon chain could be critical for the interaction of the agonist with its receptor, even though possible hydrophobic interaction cannot be ruled out. In vivo experiments on murine J774 macrophage cell cultures have shown the ability of these compounds to stimulate the inducible nitric oxide synthase activity at the transcriptional level.