Neuropeptide Y and sympathetic vascular control in man

Regul Pept. 1985 Dec;13(1):41-52. doi: 10.1016/0167-0115(85)90085-0.


A parallel increase in systemic plasma levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-like immunoreactivity (LI) and noradrenaline (NA) was found during thoracotomy and surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass in man. Thus, plasma levels of NPY-LI increased from 29 +/- 4 pmol/l before anaesthesia to 59 +/- 10 after thoracotomy and to 87 +/- 8 pmol/l upon cardiopulmonary bypass. The corresponding NA levels increased from 1.3 +/- 0.1 nmol/l before anaesthesia to 3.0 +/- 0.6 and 4.2 +/- 5 nmol/l after thoracotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass, respectively. A significant correlation was found between plasma levels of NPY-LI and NA during the operation but not between NPY-LI and adrenaline. The NPY-LI in human plasma was found to be similar to synthetic porcine NPY on reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Human submandibular arteries contained high levels of NPY-LI (24 +/- 3 pmol/g). In in vitro experiments on isolated human submandibular arteries, NPY in low concentrations (1000 pmol/l) was found to potentiate the contractile effects of NA or transmural nerve stimulation and to exert vasoconstrictor activity per se in higher concentrations. The calcium-entry antagonist nifedipine abolished both the NPY-induced contractions and the enhancement of NA-evoked contractions. NPY depressed the nerve stimulation-evoked 3H-NA release from human submandibular arteries via a prejunctional mechanism which was resistant to nifedipine. NPY contracted human mesenteric veins and renal arteries, but not mesenteric arteries. In conclusion, NPY seems to be co-released with NA upon sympathetic activation in man. Furthermore, NPY exerts both pre- and postjunctional effects on sympathetic control of human blood vessels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arteries / drug effects
  • Arteries / innervation
  • Arteries / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / surgery
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / blood*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology
  • Swine
  • Thoracic Surgery*
  • Vascular Resistance


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Nifedipine
  • Norepinephrine