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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Jan 15;139(2):182-8.

Effects of vasoactive polypeptides on the uterine vasculature.


Estrogen-induced increases in uterine blood flow appear to require de novo protein or polypeptide synthesis. In the present experiments a chronically catheterized nonpregnant sheep preparation was used to determine the uterine vascular effects of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neurotensin, and substance P. These effects were compared to those of bradykinin and the most potent vasodilator prostaglandin, prostacyclin. An intra-arterial catheter was placed in a branch of the main uterine artery to allow administration of the compounds directly into the uterine vasculature. Uterine blood flow was continuously monitored via an electromagnetic flow transducer on the maine uterine arteries. VIP, bradykinin, and prostacyclin were equally potent as vasodilators of the uterine vasculature, while neurotensin and substance P were totally devoid of vasoactivity. Unlike estradiol, bradykinin and VIP produced significant changes in systemic arterial pressure and heart rate, suggesting that these compounds may not have responsible for mediating the uterine vascular response observed after estrogen. However, VIP was a potent uterine vasodilator and was able to totally ablate uterine contractile activity, suggesting that this endogenously occurring polypeptide may be important in regulating uterine hemodynamics and contractile activity.

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