Send to

Choose Destination
Peptides. 1993 May-Jun;14(3):637-41.

NADPH-diaphorase-positive nerves and the role of nitric oxide in CGRP relaxation of uterine contraction.

Author information

Department of Anatomical Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73190.


We previously demonstrated calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) immunoreactivity in sensory nerves in the rat uterus and that CGRP inhibits stimulated uterine contraction in vitro. The present study was undertaken to: 1) examine possible roles nitric oxide (NO) may have in the inhibitory action of CGRP on uterine contraction and 2) identify sites where NO may be synthesized. The relaxing effect of CGRP on SP-stimulated uterine contraction was established in vitro on uterine horns from diethylstilbestrol-treated rats. These experiments were repeated with or without an arginine analog [NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA)] that inhibits NO formation. The localization of the synthetic enzyme for NO production, NO synthase, was accomplished by histochemically staining for NADPH-diaphorase. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (10(-7) M) significantly reduced SP (10(-5) or 10(-6) M)-stimulated uterine contraction. The L-NMMA (10(-3) M) blocked the relaxing action of CGRP on SP-stimulated uterine contraction. The L-NMMA alone had no effect on SP-stimulated uterine contraction. NADPH-diaphorase-positive nerve fibers were located in the myometrium, endometrium, and adjacent to the vasculature. These data demonstrate that: 1) L-NMMA suppresses the relaxant effect of CGRP on myometrial activity and 2) NADPH-diaphorase (indicative of NO synthase) is localized in uterine nerve fibers. These data suggest that the inhibitory action of CGRP may be dependent on NO formation and that the enzyme necessary for NO production is present in nerves in areas optimal to affect myometrial activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center