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1. Calcium (Ca2+, 0.1-100 microM) stimulated concentration-dependent contractions in small strips from the rabbit mesenteric artery in which the smooth muscle cells had been permeabilized with Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin. 2. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and phenylephrine, each in the presence of 10 microM guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP), concentration-dependently stimulated additional contractions in strips sub-maximally contracted by the presence of a buffered concentration of calcium (0.3 microM). All the additional contraction was abolished with the selective inhibitor of protein kinase C, Ro 31-8220 (10 microM). 3. Quinacrine (10-50 microM), an inhibitor of phospholipase A2, selectively inhibited the sensitization to 5-HT, but did not alter the sensitization to either phenylephrine or GTP. 4. Myofilament sensitization to calcium was mimicked by exogenous arachidonic acid (300 microM, in the presence of indomethacin, miconazole and BW755c) and the stable analogue of arachidonic acid, 5,8,11,14-eicosatetrayonic acid (ETYA, 100 microM), and in both cases did not require the additional presence of GTP. Ro 31-8220, but not quinacrine, reduced the sensitization to arachidonic acid by around 30%. 5. These results indicate that G protein-linked myofilament sensitization to calcium in the mesenteric artery that follows the activation of 5-HT receptors, but not alpha 1-receptors, involves phospholipase A2. The sensitization stimulated by each of these different receptors, and a component of the response to arachidonic acid, also appears to involve the activation of protein kinase C.

Original publication




Journal article


J Physiol

Publication Date



491 ( Pt 2)


447 - 453


Animals, Calcium, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, Mesenteric Arteries, Phenylephrine, Phospholipases A, Phospholipases A2, Protein Kinase C, Quinacrine, Rabbits, Serotonin