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Nature. 1985 May 2-8;315(6014):61-3.

Stimulation of connective tissue cell growth by substance P and substance K.


Connective tissue cells proliferate actively when cultured in the presence of serum. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a basic protein of relative molecular mass approximately 30,000, has been identified as the major serum mitogen for these cells; its main physiological/pathophysiological role may be to initiate wound healing in connection with tissue injury. However, growth of cultured cells is also influenced by several other factors, including epidermal growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, insulin and somatomedins. Furthermore, Rozengurt and Sinnett-Smith recently showed that bombesin, a neuroendocrine peptide isolated from frog skin, stimulates DNA synthesis and cell division in cultures of a specific subtype of 3T3 cells. Substance P and substance K (also known as neurokinin A or neuromedin L) are mammalian peptides belonging to the tachykinin family. Substance P has been studied extensively; it is distributed widely throughout the central and peripheral nervous system, including primary sensory neurones, and can be released in the periphery from axon collaterals of stimulated pain fibres and contribute to the inflammatory response. Substance K is a member of the tachykinin family isolated from mammalian spinal cord; Nawa et al. determined the primary structure of two types of substance P precursors, one of which contained a sequence homologous to substance K, as well as the sequence of substance P. We report here that substance P and substance K stimulate DNA synthesis in cultured arterial smooth muscle cells and human skin fibroblasts, and that this stimulation is inhibited by the substance P-antagonist spantide.

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