Substance P given intrathecally at the spinal T9 level increases adrenal output of adrenaline and noradrenaline in the rat
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Administration of 10 micrograms of substance P intrathecally to the spinal T9 level of the adult rat, anaesthetized with urethane, provoked an increase in free catecholamines in plasma taken from the inferior vena cava. Adrenaline levels at 1 min after administration were 154.8 +/- 10.8% (mean +/- SE; n = 11) of preadministration levels and noradrenaline levels were 153.5 +/- 11.8% of preadministration levels. Differences between the values of free catecholamines in animals given substance P vs those given vehicle only were statistically significant at 1 and 10 min postinjection, but not at 30 min. Administration of a substance P analogue with central antagonistic properties 15 min before substance P was given prevented expression of the effects of substance P. These results suggest that substance P may be an excitatory chemical mediator of synaptic transmission in spinal pathways controlling adrenal medullary output. Thus dysfunction of substance P mechanisms may underlie some animal models of hypertension and may be involved in some cases of essential hypertension in man as well as in autonomic dysfunction associated with some neurological entities.
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