The effects of calcitonin gene-related peptide on submucosal gland secretion and epithelial albumin transport in the ferret trachea in vitro

Br J Pharmacol. 1991 Jan;102(1):79-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1991.tb12135.x.


1. We have examined the effect of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) on basal mucus volume, lysozyme and albumin outputs from the ferret whole trachea in vitro, and on the outputs produced by methacholine and substance P (SP). We have also examined the effect of inhibiting neutral enkephalinase with thiorphan on the responses to CGRP. 2. CGRP (1-100 nM) produced small concentration-dependent increases in basal mucus volume, lysozyme and albumin outputs. These effect of CGRP were enhanced by thiorphan. The increases in basal outputs with CGRP and the potentiation by thiorphan were considerably less than previously observed with SP and neurokinin A (NKA). CGRP had no significant effect on potential difference (PD) across the trachea. 3. CGRP produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of methacholine- and SP-induced lysozyme output but a concentration-dependent increase in methacholine- and SP-induced albumin output. The effects of CGRP on methacholine-induced lysozyme and albumin outputs were enhanced by thiorphan. CGRP weakly inhibited methacholine-induced mucus volume output and weakly enhanced SP-induced mucus volume output. 4. Thus, CGRP weakly stimulates basal serous cell secretion and epithelial albumin transport, but does not alter epithelial integrity. CGRP inhibits the serous cell secretion due to methacholine or SP, but potentiates the epithelial albumin transport produced by these agents. The interaction between CGRP and other sensory neuropeptides or muscarinic agonists on airway submucosal glands and epithelium may be important in the normal airway and in inflammatory airway diseases where release of sensory neuropeptides is enhanced.

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / pharmacology*
  • Evoked Potentials / drug effects
  • Exocrine Glands / drug effects*
  • Exocrine Glands / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ferrets
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Methacholine Compounds / pharmacology
  • Mucus / enzymology
  • Mucus / metabolism*
  • Muramidase / analysis
  • Substance P / pharmacology
  • Thiorphan / pharmacology
  • Trachea / drug effects


  • Albumins
  • Methacholine Compounds
  • Substance P
  • Thiorphan
  • Muramidase
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide