Agonist-induced endothelium-dependent relaxation in rat thoracic aorta may be mediated through cGMP.
The present study investigates the hypothesis that endothelium-dependent relaxation of vascular smooth muscle may be mediated through the formation of cGMP. Relaxation of the rat thoracic aorta to acetylcholine, histamine, and Ca++ ionophore A23187 was associated with increased levels of cGMP in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, whereas cAMP levels were unaltered. Removal of the endothelium prevented relaxation to these agents and prevented the increased levels of cGMP. Removal of the endothelium after exposure to acetylcholine only partially decreased the elevated levels of cGMP, suggesting that the changes in cGMP occurred within the smooth muscle cells. Eicosatetraynoic acid, an inhibitor of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, and quinacrine, an inhibitor of phospholipase, prevented and reversed acetylcholine-induced relaxation, respectively, and inhibited acetylcholine-induced increased levels of cGMP. In contrast, sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxation and increased levels of cGMP were independent of the presence of the endothelium, exposure to eicosatetraynoic acid, and quinacrine. The present results support the hypothesis that vascular smooth muscle relaxation induced by some agents is dependent on the presence of the endothelium and is mediated through the formation of an endothelial factor that increases cGMP levels in smooth muscle.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association