Calcium- and endothelial-mediated vascular smooth muscle relaxation in rabbit aorta.
The role of calcium in the relaxations evoked by methacholine and A23187 in intact rabbit aortic rings was investigated. Methacholine (10(-8) to 10(-6) M) and the calcium ionophore A23187 (10(-8) to 10(-6) M) produced dose-dependent relaxations of rings which had been contracted with the alpha-adrenergic agonist phenylephrine. The ability of a ring to relax in this manner was correlated with the presence of endothelium as judged by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Purposely disrupting the endothelium led to a loss of the relaxation response. In these rings methacholine caused dose-dependent contractions at concentrations greater than 10(-7) M. Deletion of Ca++ from the incubation medium inhibited maximum methacholine-induced relaxations by 67% and A23187-induced relaxations by 92%. The Ca++-channel blockers verapamil (10 microM) and nifedipine (0.5 microM) inhibited maximum methacholine-induced relaxations by 39% and 45%, respectively. The blockers had no effect on the methacholine ED50 (2.5 x 10(-7) M) for relaxation. Verapamil and nifedipine also inhibited maximum A23187-induced relaxations by 43% and 47% with no effect on the ED50 (6 x 19(-8) M) for relaxation. A structurally dissimilar vasodilator, sodium nitroprusside (10(-7) M), had no effect on the A23187-induced relaxation. These data are consistent with a role of Ca++ in regulating either the production or release of endothelial-derived relaxing factor(s).
- Copyright © 1982 by American Heart Association