Autoradiography was used to localize and quantify substance P receptors in the feline gastrointestinal tract. The specific binding of 125I-Bolton Hunter substance P was determined in the esophagus, lower esophageal sphincter, antrum, pylorus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, ileocecal sphincter, and colon. Competitive binding studies indicated that substance P binding sites or NK-1 receptor sites were demonstrated. The concentration of NK-1 receptors was greatest in the distal half of the gastrointestinal tract, with the highest concentrations in the proximal colon. The circular muscle layer contained the greatest amount of substance P binding. The location and density of binding sites for substance P may be important in understanding the relative importance of both the pharmacological responses to this neuropeptide and the immunohistochemical evidence of the peptide at different sites in the intestine.
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