Synthesis of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) by rat arterial endothelial cells

Yoshiaki Doi, H. Kudo, T. Nishino, K. Kayashima, H. Kiyonaga, T. Nagata, S. Nara, M. Morita, S. Fujimoto


We investigated the protein and mRNA expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in endothelial cells of the rat thoracic aorta and femoral artery. Light microscopic immunocytochemistry revealed that immunoreactivity for CGRP was preferentially located in the endothelium of both vessels. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that CGRPimmunoreactive gold particles were preferentially localized on cisterns of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and on the Weibel-Palade (WP) bodies in the endothelial cells. Prepro CGRP mRNA signals were also detected on the endothelium. Our results are the first to demonstrate that endothelial cells of both elastic and large muscular arteries synthesize CGRP and store it, in part, in WP bodies, implying that CGRP may act as an endothelium-derived relaxing factor in these vessels.


calcitonin gene-related peptide; In situ; hybridization; immunocytochemistry; immunoelectron microscopy; Weibel-Palade bodies

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