Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide inhibits the cyclooxygenase pathway of rat cerebral microvessels

B. Kis, T. Gáspár, Z. Mezei, Á Gecse, Gyula Telegdy

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The presence of nerve endings containing pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) around cerebral microvessels suggests that these peptides have regulatory roles in the cerebral microcirculation. Prostanoids synthesized by the cerebrovascular endothelium have a determining role in the regulation of the brain circulation. In the present study, the effects of PACAP and VIP on the cyclooxygenase pathway of cerebral microvessels were investigated. The isolated microvessels were incubated with 1-14C-arachidonic acid and different concentrations of the peptides. The prostanoids formed were separated by means of overpressure thin-layer chromatography, and were quantitatively determined by liquid scintillation. Higher concentrations (10-7 and 10-6 mol L-1 of PACAP significantly inhibited the activity of the cyclooxygenase pathway, whereas VIP had no significant effect on it. As regards the cyclooxygenase metabolites, the syntheses of thromboxane A2 and prostaglandin D2 were inhibited significantly. PACAP and VIP are known to increase the intracellular cAMP level in the cerebral microvessels and in the present experiments the protein kinase A inhibitor H-89 attenuated the effect of PACAP on prostanoid synthesis. It is concluded that the cyclooxygenase pathway of rat cerebral microvessels is more sensitive to PACAP than to VIP. The inhibitory effect of PACAP on prostanoid synthesis is mediated via a cAMP-dependent pathway. By inhibiting the formation of vasoactive prostanoids, PACAP can decrease the vasoreactivity of the microvessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 5 1999



  • Cerebral microvessels
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Prostanoids
  • VIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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