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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) and K+ are vasodilators in the cerebral circulation. Recently, K+ has been suggested to contribute to EDHF-mediated responses in peripheral vessels. The EDHF response to the protease-activated receptor 2 ligand SLIGRL was characterized in cerebral arteries and used to assess whether K+ contributes as an EDHF. METHODS: Rat middle cerebral arteries were mounted in either a wire or pressure myograph. Concentration-response curves to SLIGRL and K+ were constructed in the presence and absence of a variety of blocking agents. In some experiments, changes in tension and smooth muscle cell membrane potential were recorded simultaneously. RESULTS: SLIGRL (0.02 to 20 micromol/L) stimulated concentration and endothelium-dependent relaxation. In the presence of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, relaxation to SLIGRL was associated with hyperpolarization and sensitivity to a specific inhibitor of IKCa, 1-[(2-chlorophenyl)diphenylmethyl]-1H-pyrazole (1 micromol/L), reflecting activation of EDHF. Combined inhibition of KIR with Ba2+ (30 micromol/L) and Na+/K+-ATPase with ouabain (1 micromol/L) markedly attenuated the relaxation to EDHF. Raising extracellular [K+] to 15 mmol/L also stimulated smooth muscle relaxation and hyperpolarization, which was also attenuated by combined application of Ba2+ and ouabain. CONCLUSIONS: SLIGRL evokes EDHF-mediated relaxation in the rat middle cerebral artery, underpinned by hyperpolarization of the smooth muscle. The profile of blockade of EDHF-mediated hyperpolarization and relaxation supports a pivotal role for IKCa channels. Furthermore, similar inhibition of responses to EDHF and exogenous K+ with Ba2+ and ouabain suggests that K+ may contribute as an EDHF in the middle cerebral artery.

Original publication

DOI

10.1161/01.STR.0000169929.66497.73

Type

Journal article

Journal

Stroke

Publication Date

07/2005

Volume

36

Pages

1526 - 1532

Keywords

Animals, Barium, Biological Factors, Bradykinin, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Enzyme Inhibitors, Inflammation, Male, Middle Cerebral Artery, Myography, NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester, Oligopeptides, Ouabain, Potassium, Potassium Channels, Pressure, Pyrazoles, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Receptor, PAR-2, Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase