The venom of the wasp may yield valuable clues in heart research according to investigators at the National Heart Institute.
Dr. John Pisano and Drs. Leal and Eline Prado are studying a peptide contained in wasp venom which is believed to be similar to bradykinin or to kallidin.
"If we can determine how insect cells produce peptides, we may be able to gather valuable information indicating how other types of cells make peptides," Pisano said. "These studies may also reveal how the body controls many biological functions since animal experimentation has indicated that bradykinin may hold the key to the solution of a variety of puzzling physiologic problems."
Previous studies have indicated that bradykinin has five principal activities: stimulating smooth muscle, producing vascodilation, increasing capillary permeability, causing migration of leukocytes, and stimulating pain fibers. "Although it hasn't been proven that bradykinin functions throughout the body as the local regulator of