Relationship between circulating levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide, nitric oxide metabolites and hemodynamic changes in human septic shock

Regul Pept. 1996 Sep 9;65(2):115-21. doi: 10.1016/0167-0115(96)00080-8.


This study is aimed to investigate the relationship between plasma concentrations of nitrite and nitrate as a measure of ongoing nitric oxide (NO) production, the vasodilatory neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P (SP), endotoxemia and hemodynamic changes in human septic shock. Thirteen patients with septic shock were studied within 6 h after the development of hypotension. Hemodynamic measurements and blood samples were recorded simultaneously at 2-h intervals from study admission. Eighteen normotensive patients with sepsis were included as control group of patients. On study entry, circulating levels of endotoxin did not relate to either CGRP or nitrite and nitrate plasma values. Septic shock patients had significantly higher plasma CGRP, and nitrite and nitrate concentrations, at each of the four time points, than patients with sepsis, as well as both groups of patients compared to normal subjects. No differences were found in plasma SP levels between the two groups of patients. For pooled data from all septic shock patients and measurements (n = 52), both plasma concentrations of CGRP and nitrite and nitrate were inversely correlated, independently from each other, to systemic vascular resistance. On study admission and at 2-h intervals, plasma CGRP concentrations correlated directly with nitrite and nitrate values. Our observations, thus, point to CGRP acting in concert with NO as important mediators responsible for hypotension in human septic shock.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / blood*
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrates / blood
  • Nitric Oxide / blood*
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Shock, Septic / blood
  • Shock, Septic / physiopathology*
  • Substance P / blood
  • Vascular Resistance


  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Substance P
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide