Objectives. To determine the anatomic distribution of select neuropeptides (neurokinin A [NKA], substance P [SP], and bradykinin [BK]), of inflammatory cells (leukocytes and mast cells), and the histamine content in the normal swine ureter and compare the findings with regions of increased ureteral contractility. Methods. Ureters from 10 pigs were obtained and cut into eight segments, proximally to distally. A portion of each ureteral segment was suspended in Krebs buffer (37°C) and attached to force displacement transducers, and spontaneous contractility was measured for 30 minutes. A second portion was assayed for histamine, NKA, SP, and BK using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A third portion was fixed in 10% buffered formalin, stained with hematoxylin-eosin, and evaluated histologically. Results. Ureteral contractility was found to be highest in the most proximal and most distal regions of the ureter. Similarly, SP content was three times greater in the proximal ureter and two times greater in the distal ureter than in the midureter (P <0.05, n = 10). The total NKA and BK content were also higher in the proximal and distal ureter than in the midureter. Conversely, the histamine content was consistent throughout the ureter. Moreover, no significant difference in the distribution of inflammatory cells was identified throughout the ureter. Conclusions. The anatomic distribution of NKA, SP, and BK in the ureter corresponded to regions of increased spontaneous ureteral contractility, more specifically the proximal and distal ureter. Neuropeptides may play a significant role in ureteral contractility and may be a target for pharmacologic mediation during obstruction and stone passage. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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