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J Neuroendocrinol. 2001 Sep;13(9):818-25.

Differential expression of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide receptor 1 and 2 mRNA in murine intestinal T lymphocyte subtypes.

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Department of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.


Neuropeptides may exert a variety of effects on the immune cells at both systemic and mucosal immune sites. The immunoregulatory properties refer to the ability of physiological signals and pathways to influence various immune functions. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), a neuropeptide present in high concentration in gut, was studied for its production and receptor expression in intraepithelial and lamina propria T lymphocytes of mouse intestine. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis, it was demonstrated that VIP receptor 1 (VIPR1) was constantly expressed in intraepithelial and lamina propria T lymphocytes from both small and large intestine. In contrast, VIPR2 was identified only in T cells from small intestine. Further studies on purified subpopulations of T lymphocytes indicated the existence of VIPR2 in CD8(+) T cells, but not CD4(+) and CD4CD8 double negative T cells, although all these three subpopulations displayed VIPR1. In addition, VIPR1 mRNA was detected in splenic T lymphocytes, but no signal was obtained for VIPR2 mRNA, even after stimulation of the cells with anti-CD3(epsilon)-chain mAb, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and/or VIP. The presence of VIP receptor(s) on intestinal T lymphocytes was supported by the detection of VIP on the cell surface using dual colour immunoflowcytometry. In-vitro treatment with VIP resulted in a tendency towards an increased size of the VIP immunoreactive T cell population and significantly enhanced the average immunofluorescence intensity of the surface labelling. This indicates that the receptors are partially occupied by locally produced VIP in vivo and that more peptide molecules can be bound on the lymphocytes when needed, released and accumulated in higher concentration at the action sites. We failed to detect the expression of VIP mRNA in T lymphocytes, from either intestine or spleen. These observations support that VIP may be an important immune modulator in gut acting through specific receptors on T lymphocytes. The differential mRNA expression of VIP receptor subtypes in cells with different phenotypes and in different immune compartments may suggest diverse regulatory roles of the neuropeptide in immune responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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