At least 16 naturally occurring peptides either constrict or dilate blood vessels. Many of these peptides are present in nerve cells and nerve terminals supplying systemic and pulmonary blood vessels and the heart. Such neuropeptides are released locally as neurotransmitters, and can influence vascular tone, local and regional blood flow, arterial blood pressure, and cardiac function. There is evidence for the participation of at least some vasoactive peptides in the regulation of these functions and in the mediation or modulation of systemic shock and arterial hypertension. The investigation of vasoactive peptides in relation to cardiovascular function and dysfunction is at a promising threshold.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association