The presence and distribution of 125I-vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) binding sites in blood vessels supplying the hamster seminal vesicle was studied using a receptor autoradiographic technique before and following castration. 125I-VIP binding was studied in intact animals, in animals under a 15-day period of castration and in animals under the same period of castration but submitted to a further 15-day period of testosterone treatment.
Our results show that, in the seminal vesicle, VIP-binding sites are localized in the gland smooth muscle coat and arterial smooth muscle. A 15-day castration period abolishes 125I-VIP binding to vascular smooth muscle but has no effect on 125I-VIP binding to the gland smooth muscle coat. Treatment with testosterone restores 125I-VIP binding to the vascular smooth muscle, completely reversing the effect of castration.
Our results indicate that VIP-binding sites in the smooth muscle wall of arteries supplying the hamster seminal vesicle are under androgenic control and are more sensitive to androgen deprivation that VIP-binding sites associated to the gland smooth muscle coat.