1656 Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) in Human Dental Pulps
I. ELKARIM, F.T. LUNDY, and P.-J. LAMEY, Queen's University of Belfast, United Kingdom

Pulpal innervation is not exclusively sensory and there are potential roles for other neuropeptides such as vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) in pulpal health and disease. In the systemic circulation VIP relaxes vascular smooth muscles leading to vasodilatation. It has been shown that VIP fibres are associated with pulpal blood vessels and therefore VIP may mediate vasoactivity in the dental pulp. A growing body of evidence has now demonstrated that an additional major physiological role of VIP is to act as a survival factor. In order to gain a better understanding of the role of neuropeptides in the caries process it is of interest to specifically examine a role for VIP. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the levels of VIP in carious (moderately carious and grossly carious) compared with non-carious teeth. Methods: A total of 68 teeth were included in the study (22 non-carious, 20 moderately carious and 26 grossly carious). VIP was measured in all samples using a sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay. Results: The mean concentration of VIP in the pulps of non-carious teeth was 7.69 ng/g (9.41 SD) compared to 14.93 ng/g (15.58 SD) in carious teeth. Pair-wise comparisons of VIP levels using Tukey's test showed statistically significant differences in VIP expression between non-carious and moderately carious teeth (p=0.002) and between moderately and grossly carious teeth, (p=0.002). Conclusion: The significantly increased levels of VIP in moderately carious pulps compared with either non-carious or grossly carious pulps may suggest a role for VIP as a protective or survival factor.

Seq #194 - Pulpal Blood Flow and Innervation, Dentinal Fluid, Neuropeptides, and Pain
10:15 AM-11:30 AM, Friday, 12 March 2004 Hawaii Convention Center Exhibit Hall 1-2

Back to the Pulp Biology Program
Back to the IADR/AADR/CADR 82nd General Session (March 10-13, 2004)

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