Distribution of substance P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in pseudocapsules of uterine fibroids

Peptides. 2011 Feb;32(2):327-32. doi: 10.1016/j.peptides.2010.10.034. Epub 2010 Dec 15.


The authors examined the presence of Substance P (SP) and Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) and their related fibers in the pseudocapsule of uterine fibroids (PUF) and in normal myometrium (NM) during myomectomies in 57 non-pregnant women. 4 samples were removed from the normal myometrium (NM) and from PUF. The samples were sent for histological and immune-fluorescent investigations. SP and VIP values were found non-significantly higher in PUF than in NM: SP values were 10.2±0.1 conventional units (C.U.) in PUF at the fundus of the uterus (FU) vs. 8.1±0.6C.U. of NM in the FU (p>0.05), and SP values were 25.1±0.9C.U. in PUF in the uterine body (UB) compared to. 23.2±1.4C.U. of NM in the myometrium of the UB (p>0.05). VIP values were 11.5±0.9C.U. in the PUF in FU compared to 9.8±1.4C.U. of NM in the FU (p>0.05), and VIP values were 33.9±3.9C.U. in the PUF in the UB vs. 32.6±4.8C.U. of the NM in the UB (p>0.05). These findings show that SP and VIP neurofibers are present in the fibroid pseudocapsule, similar to the values in the normal myometrium of a non-pregnant uterus. An intracapsular myoma excision which respects the pseudocapsule permits a physiological healing process of the uterine scar, due to a neurotransmitter sparing at the hysterotomic site. In women planning pregnancy, the myomectomy should be preferably performed respecting the pseudocapsule in order to preserve the neurotransmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / metabolism*
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Myometrium / metabolism
  • Myometrium / pathology
  • Substance P / metabolism*
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / metabolism*


  • Substance P
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide