Calcitonin gene-related peptide-α receptor binding sites in the gastrointestinal tract

T. S. Gates, R. P. Zimmerman, C. R. Mantyh, S. R. Vigna, Patrick W Mantyh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


Calcitonin gene-related peptide-α (CGRPα) is a putative neurotransmitter in the brain and in peripheral tissues. Quantitative receptor autoradiography was used to localize and quantify the distribution of specific binding sites for radiolabeled human CGRPα in the canine gastrointestinal tract. The canine gastrointestinal tract was chosen as a model since it is similar in both size and structure to the human gastrointestinal tract. In the stomach CGRPα binding sites were localized to smooth muscle cells in the muscularis mucosa and muscularis externa, the smooth muscle and endothelium of medium and small arteries, neurons in the myenteric plexus, mucosal epithelial cells and the germinal centers of lymph nodules. In the intestines, the prominent cells types expressing CGRPα receptors were myenteric neurons and the germinal centers of lymph nodules. Since previous studies have demonstrated that CGRP-containing sensory neurons innervate the muscularis externa in the stomach and since CGRPα receptors are expressed by smooth muscle cells in the muscularis externa, these results suggest that sensory neurons may directly regulate gastric motility by releasing CGRP. In correlation with previous physiological data, the present study suggests that CGRP is involved in the regulation of a variety of gastrointestinal functions including gastric motility, mucosal ion transport, hemodynamics, digestive enzyme secretion, neuronal excitability, and the inflammatory and immune responce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-770
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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