Stimulation of epithelial cell growth by the neuropeptide substance P

T. W. Reid, Christopher J Murphy, C. K. Iwahashi, B. A. Foster, Mark J Mannis

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118 Scopus citations


The neuropeptide substance P (SP) was found to stimulate DNA synthesis and cell growth for epithelial cells (cornea and lens) in a serum-free environment. The length of treatment time was shown to be important since longer times shifted the dose-response curve to the left. In short-term DNA synthesis studies (40 h) the stimulation with SP (or synergism with insulin)was not apparent until close to 10 μM, however, when DNA synthesis assays were carried out over a long period of time (5 days) stimulation with SP was seen at 1 pM. The stimulation of DNA synthesis by SP was synergistic with insulin for lens epithelial cells, but little synergism was seen with corneal epithelial cells. It cell growth studies on lens epithelial cells SP also showed growth stimulation by itself and synergism with insulin at concentrations of 1-2 pM. The neuropeptide calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) showed no DNA synthesis stimulating ability on epithelial cells by itself at concentrations as high as 2.5 μM; however, it was synergistic with SP at a concentration of 0.025 μM. SP pretreatment of epithelial cells for 2 h causes an increase in cellular sensitivity to subsequent addition of either SP or insulin. This increase is consistent with the hypothesis that either the signal from SP persists after its removal from the cell or the dissociation time for SP from its receptor is longer than the wash time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-485
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • calcitonin gene related peptide
  • cell growth
  • CGRP
  • cornea
  • DNA synthesis
  • epithelial cells
  • insulin
  • lens
  • neuropeptide
  • substance P

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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