Substance P (SP) is present in perivascular nerves throughout the mammalian vasculature. Reports of diminished SP levels in nerve and gastrointestinal tissues of diabetic rats led us to examine SP-like immunoreactivity (SP-LI) in large arteries by RIA. Six weeks after inducing diabetes with streptozotocin (STZ), SP-LI was measured in the thoracic aorta, abdominal aorta, and the proximal superior mesenteric artery. In diabetics we measured a doubling (P < 0.01) of SP-LI in all three artery wall preparations. This finding was verified in a second experiment which included a subset of diabetics treated daily with insulin for the sixth week of the holding period. Again, we measured a two-fold or greater increase of SP-LI (P < 0.01-0.05) in arteries from the diabetics and found that insulin treatment significantly reduced SP-LI (P < 0.05). In contrast to reports of diminished SP content in other tissues of diabetic rats, our findings demonstrate that the artery wall experiences at least a twofold increase of SP-LI in the diabetic state. Furthermore, this elevation of SP-LI is reduced by insulin. We speculate that these changes of arterial wall SP-LI may contribute to altered regulation of the vascular system in the diabetic state.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)