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Peptides. 1989 Sep-Oct;10(5):957-62.

Identification of immunoreactive substance P in human and other mammalian endothelial cells.

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Neurology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


Endothelial cells release both vasodilatory (e.g., PGI2, EDRF, oxygen radicals) and vasoconstrictor (e.g., EDCF) substances which modify vascular tone and contractility. We report the existence of the vasodilatory tachykinin substance P within endothelial cell scraping from human, rat and dog thoracic aorta and human pial arteries with values ranging from 1.0 +/- 0.1 (rat aorta) to 1.9 +/- 0.5 (dog aorta) fmol/mg protein. The immunoreactive component eluted with a retention time identical to that of radiolabelled substance P when analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography combined with radioimmunoassay. Cultured endothelial cells from bovine cerebral microvessels contained measurable levels of substance P in passages 3-8, suggesting the likelihood that these cells synthesize substance P. However, the level of gene expression must be low since efforts to demonstrate the presence of preprotachykinin mRNA by Northern blot analysis of dog and rat aortic endothelial cell RNA or by RNase protection analysis of rat aortic endothelial cell RNA was not successful.

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