Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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




Journal article



Publication Date





1526 - 1532


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