Research suggests several hormones in multicellular organisms are important in controlling physiology and behavior. Hormones, a kind of signaling molecule, are carried to many organs and have a cumulative effect on how the body grows and develops. Studies speculate the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) may be a naturally occurring peptide hormone.
Numerous potential functions of VIP, such as those allegedly involved in neuromodulation and neurotransmission, are explored in depth here.
Research suggests that VIP peptide should be maintained at a steady, high concentration in the body, like all other biological substances. Further studies imply that a VIP peptide imbalance may result from aging or adverse medical situations like VIPoma (rare endocrine tumor) [i].
Research in the Vascular System
Researchers suggest the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is essential to the neurological system because it protects the cells that line the brain and the blood arteries that supply it. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) blocks all nutrient and oxygen molecules from entering the brain, affecting the immune system.
Damage to the BBB has been linked to MS, stroke, and other devastating diseases. Studies speculate that due to its neuroprotective qualities, VIP may have the potential to protect BBB function. [ii]
Research in Dementia
Laboratory findings suggest that neuron fatty acid maturation may be enhanced with VIP presentation, and excitotoxic damage to the developing brain’s white matter may be washed away. [iii] The peptide is speculated to dampen inflammatory responses of the Th1 kind and switch them to those of the Th2 variety. This phenomenon is thought to be beneficial in the research of Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers speculate that test subjects with Alzheimer’s disease have dramatically lower levels of the peptide and related neuronal levels; however, the relevance of VIP in this illness is still unclear. According to theoretical research, addition of VIP peptide in a mouse model of induced cognitive impairment may have decreased the number of beta-amyloid cells [iv].
Research in Cardiac Fibrosis
Studies suggest that many cardiac diseases progress to cardiac fibrosis due to the devastating impact on cardiac function, including impaired contraction, faulty valve function, and irregular heart pumping.
Angiotensinogen receptors and angiotensinogen converting enzymes have been linked by medical professionals in the pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis, both of which cause vascular inflammation. Researchers speculate that VIP peptide, like ACE inhibitors, may significantly lower these angiotensinogen expressions [v].
Research in Social Behavioral Responses
Earlier, we established that hypothalamic VIP neurons may play a role in the social behavior of several multicellular creatures. Research [vi] suggests that VIP neurons may be active when certain social contexts engage brain areas that control behavioral responses. When stimulated, VIP neurons in the hypothalamus could be responsible for secreting prolactin hormones. The hormone prolactin is secreted in response to stress and has been cited to potentially cause aggressive and maternal tendencies.
Researchers speculate that VIP, or vasoactive intestinal peptide, is a 28-residue hormone produced naturally. It may be located throughout the body, especially in the brain and spinal cord.
Scientists suggest that the G protein-coupled receptors, which include VPAC1, VPAC2, and PAC1, may be the primary targets of the peptide’s actions. Clinical trials suggest that VIP may have the potential to influence various biological processes, perhaps due to the widespread distribution of its receptors and peptides.
Because of its potential anti-inflammatory reactions, medical studies have speculated that VIP may be utilized to research serious conditions, including Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiac fibrosis, and transplant rejection.
While the discovery of peptides happened about 50 years ago, studies into their potential properties are still ongoing.
Only academic and scientific institutions are permitted to purchase and study VIP. If you are a researcher interested in purchasing VIP peptides for your clinical studies, you can do so by visiting Biotech Peptides. Please note that none of the items listed are approved for human or animal consumption. Laboratory research chemicals are only for in-vitro and in-lab use. Any kind of physical introduction is illegal. Only authorized academics and working professionals may make purchases. The content of this article is intended only for instructional purposes.
[ii] Staines DR, Brenu EW, Marshall-Gradisnik S. Postulated vasoactive neuropeptide immunopathology affecting the blood-brain/blood-spinal barrier in certain neuropsychiatric fatigue-related conditions: A role for phosphodiesterase inhibitors in treatment? Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2009;5:81-9. Epub 2009 Apr 8. PMID: 19557103; PMCID: PMC2695238.
[iii] Mosley RL, Lu Y, Olson KE, Machhi J, Yan W, Namminga KL, Smith JR, Shandler SJ, Gendelman HE. A Synthetic Agonist to Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor-2 Induces Regulatory T Cell Neuroprotective Activities in Models of Parkinson’s Disease. Front Cell Neurosci.
[iv] Solés-Tarrés, I., Cabezas-Llobet, N., Vaudry, D., & Xifró, X. (2020). Protective Effects of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Against Cognitive Decline in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 14, 221.
[v] Karen A. Duggan, George Hodge, Juchuan Chen, Tegan Hunter, Vasoactive intestinal peptide infusion reverses existing myocardial fibrosis in the rat, European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 862, 2019, 172629, ISSN 0014-2999
[vi] Kingsbury MA. New perspectives on vasoactive intestinal polypeptide as a widespread modulator of social behavior. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2015 Dec 1;6:139-147