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Regulatory peptides in the heart and major vessels of man and mammals.

  • Onuoha, G N
  • Nicholls, D P
  • Alpar, E K
  • Ritchie, A
  • Shaw, C
  • Buchanan, K
Published Article
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1999
PMID: 10657487


Studies on the distribution of peptides in human tissues have been made either by measuring responses to localized stimuli or by subjecting extracts of different regions to radioimmunoassay (RIA). Attempts at isolating regulatory peptides from the mammalian tissues have resulted in the isolation of many bioactive fragments. Later, modification of initial isolation methods led to the identification of the native molecules in various tissues and body fluids. The present study examined atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and several other peptides in cardiac tissues of several species of laboratory mammal and human beings; using a sensitive and highly specific radioimmunoassays. In all the species studied, ANP-like immunoreactivity appeared to be highest in the heart tissue of rat. The peptide was highest in the right atrium (RA) of rat and lowest in the RA of guinea pig (P< 0.002). Neuropeptide Y (NPY) another abundant cardiac peptide was present in the cardiac tissues of all species but was more in the left atrium (LA) than the RA of all species (P<0.05). Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) was present throughout the cardiovascular system of the rat and guinea pig. Small but detectable amount of Neurotensin (NT) immunoreactivity was found in the rat but was consistently negative in the guinea pig cardiac tissues (P< 0.05). Substance P (SP) immunoreactivity was detected in the rat and higher quantities being in the Aorta but no trace of the peptide was detected in the left ventricle, aorta nor the pulmonary vein of post mortem human. Though the structure of most of the species studied has been elucidated, the primary structure of guinea pig ANP has not been fully generated. Thus the data obtained may suggest that in keeping with these mammalian peptides, the primary structures may be variant. With most of the peptides studied (e.g. ANP, Neuropepdide Y), immunoreactivity occurs predominantly in the atrial tissues, but is also present in vessels outside the heart, a finding which may be of functional significance.

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