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Further Demonstration that [Pro9]-Substance P Is a Potent and Selective Ligand of NK-1 Tachykinin Receptors


  • A preliminary report of this work was presented at the Graz International Symposium on Tachykinins (July 20–23, 1988) (Petitet et al., 1988).

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. F. Petitet at Chaire de Neuropharmacologie, Collège de France, INSERM U 114, 11, place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France.


Abstract: Previous studies have indicated that [Pro9]-substance P ([Pro9]-SP) possesses very good affinity for NK-1 binding sites and that, in contrast to substance P, it interacts selectively with these sites. Therefore, [3H][Pro9]-SP (75 Ci/mmol) was synthesized in order to study its binding to membranes of the rat brain. Specific binding of [3H][Pro9]-SP (75% of total binding) was temperature-dependent, saturable, and reversible. Scatchard analysis and Hill plots revealed the existence of a single population of noninteracting binding sites (KD and Bmax values: 1.48 nM and 29.7 fmol/mg of protein, respectively). Competition studies with several tachykinins and analogues indicated that the pharmacological profile of [3H][Pro9]-SP binding sites is identical to that of NK-1 binding sites. Rat brain sections labeled with either [3H][Pro9]-SP or [3H]SP, revealed a close similarity in the topographical distribution of [3H][Pro9]-SP and [3H]SP binding sites. Biochemical, pharmacological, and autoradiographic data obtained with [3H][Pro9]-SP did not provide any evidence for the existence of subtypes of NK-1 binding sites. [Pro9]-SP had neither agonist nor antagonist properties on NK-2 and NK-3 receptors. Indeed, it did not stimulate phosphoinositide turnover on the hamster urinary bladder (NK-2 assay) and was devoid of activity on the contraction of the rabbit pulmonary artery (NK-2 assay) and of the rat portal vein (NK-3 assay). As a result of its high selectivity, [Pro9]-SP thus appears an excellent tool for investigating the functional properties of NK-1 receptors.

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