Mitogenic effect of neuropeptide Y in rat vascular smooth muscle cells

Zofia Zukowska-Grojec, Piotr Pruszczyk, Carol Colton, Jibin Yao, Gregory H. Shen, Adam K. Myers, Claes Wahlestedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a vasoconstrictor released with norepinephrine from perivascular sympathetic nerves. Since sympathetic nerves appear to play a role in vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) hypertrophy, we studied the effects of NPY on proliferation of cultured rat aorta- and vena cava-derived SMC. Both cell types displayed high-affinity NPY binding sites with displacement characteristics of [Pro34]NPY > NPY(13-36) > NPY(18-36) in aorta and [Pro34]NPY = NPY(13-36) = NPY(18-36) in the vena cava. Incubation with NPY (50-1000 nM) for 48 h increased by up to twofold cell number and [3H]-thymidine incorporation in both cell types (aortic more sensitive to NPY than venous). Following incubation with NPY, the disappearance of NPY immunoreactivity (-IR) from media was markedly delayed in the presence of SMC, and cell content of NPY-IR increased in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that SMC either diminish degradation of the peptide (possibly by internalization) or secrete endogenous NPY (or both). Structure-activity relationship studies with NPY(18-36) indicated involvement of Y1 receptors in mitogenesis. Thus, NPY has a mitogenic effect (probably mediated by Y1 receptors) and, therefore, may be a sympathetic trophic factor involved in vascular hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Mitogenic effect
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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