Drugs that modify actions of pharmacologically active polypeptides

Abstract

The qualitative effects on smooth muscle of most of the pharmacologically active polypeptides are usually similar and thus their identification and estimation in mixtures is very difficult. As yet we do not possess specific antagonists to these agents which would help in characterizing them in a fashion similar to that of acetylcholine vs. atropine, histamine vs. antihis- taminics or serotonin vs. lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The possession of a specific antagonist for one of these polypeptides would be of immense value. It is not known whether specific receptors exist for the pharmacologically active polypeptides. Specific antagonists may help resolve this problem and may provide clues which could lead to conclusions as to the mechanisms of action and possible physiological roles of some of these active polypeptides. Furthermore, a specific antagonist for angiotensin may be a useful therapeutic agent for some forms of hypertension and a specific antagonist for bradykinin may be a useful therapeutic agent for some inflammatory conditions. A substance which would modify the action of the neurohumoral polypeptide substance P may be a useful agent in the treatment of some mental disorders.

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