The pathophysiological effects of non-cholinergic. non-adrenergic neuropeptides are well known in the nasal mucosa, but unclear in the polyps. Since the pathophysiological roles of neuropeptides depend on their presence in the target tissue, specimens of nasal polyps were removed from 20 patients and examined for the presence of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). neuropeptide Y (NPY). dopamine-βhydroxylase (DBH), substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). To visualize these neuropeptide fibers, immunohistochemical staining by the peroxidase-anti-peroxidase method and color reaction by Nickel enhancement of diaminobenzidine (DAB) were used. Fine varicose neuropeptides immunostaincd fibers were predominantly distributed in the pedicle of the polyps. No neuropeptides were found in the mucosal epithclium and subepithelium. NPY fibers were predominantly seen around the thick wall vessels, whereas the VIP fibers were mainly to be found in close proximity to the submucosal glands and fairly close to the vessels. SP or CGRP fibers were not found in the polyps. VIP and NPY in the pedicle of the polyps may be present in connection with mucosal inflammation. tissue edema and cystic degeneration of the glands in the early stage of polyp formation. Thus these neuropeptides may contribute to the development and growth of nasal polyps.
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