Human umbilical cord expresses several vasoactive peptides involved in the local regulation of vascular tone: protein and gene expression of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS

Buscemi, M; Provenzano, S; Gerbino, A

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    Abstract

    Introduction. Full-term human umbilical cord contains three blood vessels: two arteries coiled around a vein and surrounded by Wharton’s jelly, a mucous tissue with few mesenchymal stromal cells and abundant extracellular matrix. Umbilical vessels lack innervations, thus endothelial cells must play a role in the control of blood flow. Objectives. The aim of this work was to investigate in human umbilical cord the expression of five peptides that could be involved in the regulation of vascular tone: Orphanin FQ, Oxytocin, Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP), endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) and inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS). Methods. The expression of these molecules in full-term human umbilical cord has been investigated through immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Results. Immunoreactivity for Orphanin FQ was detected in Wharton’s jelly, vessel musculature and endothelium; Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS were expressed by the umbilical epithelium, Wharton’s jelly and endothelium, whereas iNOS only by endothelial cells. RT-PCR analysis showed transcriptional expression of Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS mRNAs. Conclusions. The presence of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS proteins was identified in human umbilical cord, moreover mRNA expression for Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS suggests that these last molecules are synthesized by umbilical cord cells themselves. The expression of these vasoactive molecules could be part of a general mechanism aimed to locally regulate vascular tone.
    Introduction. Full-term human umbilical cord contains three blood vessels: two arteries coiled around a vein and surrounded by Wharton’s jelly, a mucous tissue with few mesenchymal stromal cells and abundant extracellular matrix. Umbilical vessels lack innervations, thus endothelial cells must play a role in the control of blood flow. Objectives. The aim of this work was to investigate in human umbilical cord the expression of five peptides that could be involved in the regulation of vascular tone: Orphanin FQ, Oxytocin, Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP), endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS) and inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS). Methods. The expression of these molecules in full-term human umbilical cord has been investigated through immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Results. Immunoreactivity for Orphanin FQ was detected in Wharton’s jelly, vessel musculature and endothelium; Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS were expressed by the umbilical epithelium, Wharton’s jelly and endothelium, whereas iNOS only by endothelial cells. RT-PCR analysis showed transcriptional expression of Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS mRNAs. Conclusions. The presence of Orphanin, Oxytocin, ANP, eNOS and iNOS proteins was identified in human umbilical cord, moreover mRNA expression for Oxytocin, ANP and eNOS suggests that these last molecules are synthesized by umbilical cord cells themselves. The expression of these vasoactive molecules could be part of a general mechanism aimed to locally regulate vascular tone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-
    Number of pages8
    JournalFolia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
    Volume49(2)
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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