Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) relaxes smooth muscle by interacting with receptors coupled to cAMP- or cGMP-signalling pathways. Their relative contribution to human gastric relaxation is unknown. This study aimed at investigating, in terms of biological activity, receptor expression and related signalling pathways, the action of VIP separately on the human fundus and the antrum. VIP caused greater relaxation of smooth muscle cells (SMC) and strips of the antrum presenting on the former a higher efficacy and potency (ED 50: 0.53 ± 0.17 nmol L -1) than on the fundus (ED 50: 3.4 ± 1.4 nmol L -1). On both fundus and antrum strips, its effect was tetrodotoxin insentitive. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis showed the sole expression of VPAC2 and natriuretic peptide clearance receptors, with VPAC2 being more abundant in the antrum. Functional regional differences in receptor-related signalling pathways were found. Activation of the cAMP-pathway by forskolin or its inhibition by adenylate cyclase (2′5′-dideoxyadenosine) or kinase (Rp-cAMPs) inhibitors had more pronounced effects on antrum SMC. Activation of the cGMP-pathway by sodium nitroprusside or its inhibition by guanylate cyclase (LY83583) or kinase (KT5823) inhibitors had more effects on fundus SMC, on which a higher expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase was found. In conclusion, regional differences in VIP action on human stomach are related to distinct myogenic properties of SMC of the antrum and the fundus.
- Smooth muscle
- Vasoactive intestinal peptide
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