Immunohistochemical localization and vascular effects of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in skeletal muscle of the cat

Research paper by Johannes Järhult, Per Hellstrand, Frank Sundler

Indexed on: 01 Mar '80Published on: 01 Mar '80Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


Scattered vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) — immunoreactive nerves were found in the striated muscle of the hind limb of the cat, where they usually were associated with small blood vessels. VIP-immunoreactive nerves were also demonstrated in the sciatic nerve; after nerve ligation an abundance of intensely immunoreactive VIP fibres were seen proximal to the ligation. Intraarterial infusion of VIP into the isolated hind limb of the cat had dramatic effects on different sections of the vascular bed. Thus, VIP dilated the resistance vessels leading to a marked increment in muscle blood flow. VIP also relaxed the capacitance vessels causing regional pooling of blood; it increased the capillary surface area available for fluid exchange. Infusions of VIP at a dose of 8 μg/min significantly inhibited the vasoconstriction induced by electrical stimulation of the regional sympathetic nerves. It is suggested that local nervous release of VIP may act as a modulator of vascular tone in skeletal muscle.