Neuropeptides contained in peripheral cardiovascular nerves

J. B. Furness, M. Costa, R. E. Papka, N. G. Delia, R. Murphy

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    The neuropeptides, substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y and enkephalin have been found in nerves associated with the heart and blood vessels of a range of mammals, including man. There is also evidence for some cardiovascular nerves with gastrin releasing peptide and neurotensin immunoreactivity. Substance P is in sensory nerves with a widespread distribution to the heart and all vascular beds. In general, large arteries have the densest innervation and the density of nerves decreases as arterial size decreases. In adult guinea-pigs, an adequate treatment with capsaicin causes the degeneration of almost all cardiovascular substance P nerves. Using capsaicin as a tool it has been shown that the substance P containing sensory nerves are not essential for baroreceptor reflexes. VIP nerves also have a widespread distribution, being particularly prominent in the cerebral arteries, uterine arteries and arteries of erectile and secretory tissues. Neuropeptide Y is located in the same cardiovascular nerves as noradrenaline. It is depleted from the nerves by reserpine or 6-hydroxydopamine. Enkephalin nerves have been reported with small arteries in only a few vascular beds.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-106
    Number of pages16
    JournalClinical and Experimental Hypertension
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1984


    • Enkephalin
    • Intestinal Paptide (VIP)
    • Neuropeptide Y (NPY)
    • Substance P
    • Vascular Innervation
    • Vasoactive


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