Peptide-containing nerves around blood vessels of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.
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The distribution and density of nerves containing vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, substance P, and neuropeptide Y around the cerebral and peripheral blood vessels of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) were studied using an indirect immunofluorescence technique. Neonatal sympathectomy of SHRSP with anti-nerve growth factor and guanethidine was also carried out to study the effect of sympathectomy on the distribution of these nerves. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide nerve density was higher in the veins and superior mesenteric artery of SHRSP than of WKY and lower in the cerebral arteries of SHRSP than of WKY, but no difference was found in the muscular mesenteric arteries. Sympathectomy reduced the density of these nerves in all the peripheral vessels but had little effect on the cerebral arteries. Density of substance P nerves was similar between SHRSP and WKY in the peripheral vessels but higher in the cerebral arteries of WKY than of SHRSP. Sympathectomy reduced the density of these nerves in the peripheral vessels but increased the density in some cerebral arteries of SHRSP. Neuropeptide Y nerve density was higher in the peripheral blood vessels of SHRSP than of WKY, and no difference was found in the cerebral arteries. Sympathectomy almost completely removed these nerves in the peripheral vessels but had no effect on the cerebral arteries. We suggest that some of the differences in nerve density between SHRSP and WKY, especially those in the peripheral blood vessels, may be related to the development of hypertension in the SHRSP.
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