Critical role of gap junctions in endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization in rat mesenteric arteries

Kenichi Goto, Koji Fujii, Yasuo Kansui, Isao Abe, Mitsuo Iida

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47 Citations (Scopus)


1. Acetylcholine (ACh) evokes endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization in arterial cells, presumably through endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). The identity of EDHF is still elusive; however, several recent studies suggest the possible involvement of myoendothelial gap junctions in the EDHF response. 2. To elucidate the role of gap junctions in endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization, we examined the effects of the gap junction inhibitors 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid (18α-GA; 10-4 mol/L) and carbenoxolone (3 × 10-4 mol/L), a water-soluble form of 183-GA, on hyperpolarization and relaxation to ACh in rat proximal and distal mesenteric arteries. Experiments were performed in the presence of indomethacin (10-5 mol/L) and NG-nitro-L-arginine (10-4 mol/L). 3. In both proximal and distal mesenteric arteries, ACh-induced hyperpolarization and relaxation were partially inhibited by 18α-GA and abolished by carbenoxolone. 4. Endothelium-independent hyperpolarization to levcro-makalim, an ATP-sensitive K+ channel opener, were unaffected by 18α-GA or carbenoxolone in both arteries. 5. Relaxations to levcromakalim were unaffected by 18α-GA, but were inhibited somewhat by carbenoxolone in proximal mesenteric arteries. 6. These findings suggest that myoendothelial gap junctions play a critical role in EDHF-mediated responses in both proximal and distal mesenteric arteries of the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)


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