Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), one of the most potent endogenous vasodilators known, has been implicated in vascular adaptations and placental functions during pregnancy. The present study was designed to examine the existence of CGRP-A receptor components, the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR) and receptor activity-modifying protein 1 (RAMP1), in the human placenta and the vasoactivity of CGRP in the fetoplacental circulation. Immunofluorescent staining of the human placenta in term labor using polyclonal anti-CRLR and RAMP1 antibodies revealed that labeling specifically concentrated in the vascular endothelium and the underlying smooth muscle cells in the umbilical artery/vein, chorionic artery/vein, and stem villous vessels as well as in the trophoblast layer of the placental villi. In vitro isometric force measurement showed that CGRP dose dependently relaxes the umbilical artery/vein, chorionic artery/vein, and stem villous vessels. Furthermore, CGRP-induced relaxation of placental vessels are inhibited by a CGRP receptor antagonist (CGRP8-37), ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel blocker (glybenclamide), and cAMP-dependent protein kinase A inhibitor (Rp-cAMPS) and partially inhibited by a nitric oxide inhibitor (N ω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester). We propose that CGRP may play a role in the control of human fetoplacental vascular tone, and the vascular dilations in response to CGRP may involve activation of K ATP channels, cAMP, and a nitric oxide pathway.
|American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
|Published - Jan 2004
- Cell signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)