Depolarization and muscarinic excitation induced in a sympathetic ganglion by vasoactive intestinal polypeptide

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Science  30 Aug 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4716, pp. 879-881
DOI: 10.1126/science.3895438


The effects of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) in the superior cervical ganglion of the cat were studied in vitro and in vivo with sucrose gap and multiunit recording, respectively. At a dose of 0.03 to 0.12 nanomole, VIP produced a dose-dependent, prolonged (3 to 15 minutes) depolarization of the ganglion and enhanced the ganglionic depolarization elicited by the muscarinic agonist acetyl-beta-methylcholine. At a dose of 1.8 to 10 nanomoles, the peptide enhanced and prolonged the postganglionic discharge elicited by acetyl-beta-methylcholine, enhanced muscarinic transmission in ganglia treated with an anticholinesterase agent, and enhanced the late muscarinic discharge elicited by acetylcholine. VIP did not affect the early nicotinic discharge elicited by acetylcholine or by electrical stimulation of the preganglionic nerve. It is concluded that VIP has a selective facilitatory action on muscarinic excitatory mechanisms in the superior cervical ganglion of the cat.