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1. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) produced a concentration-dependent increase in the membrane concentration of 1,2-diacylglycerol (DG) in the rabbit isolated basilar artery, but did not stimulate the hydrolysis of membrane phosphoinositide. 2. The 5-HT-induced accumulation of DG could be blocked with the putative phospholipase C inhibitor 2-nitro-4-carboxyphenyl-N,N-diphenylcarbamate (NCDC; 70 microM), but not with the protein kinase C inhibitor, 1-(5-isoquinolinesulphonyl)-2-methyl piperazine (H7; 50 microM). 3. Direct stimulation of protein kinase C with phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) produced sustained smooth muscle contraction which was fairly rapid in onset and could be reversed by H7 but not by NCDC. The inactive phorbol, 4 alpha phorbol 12,13-dideceonate, did not produce contraction in the basilar artery. 4. 5-HT-induced contractions (1 nM-100 microM) were blocked or greatly reduced in the presence of the protein kinase inhibitor H7 or polymyxin B, and with the phospholipase C inhibitor, NCDC. The concentrations of these inhibitors which abolished contraction to 5-HT, did not alter smooth muscle contraction produced in response to 30 mM K(+)-physiological salt solution (PSS). 5. These data suggest that DG production and the subsequent activation of PKC forms an important component of the cerebrovascular contractile response to 5-HT. As the DG does not appear to arise from membrane phosphatidylinositol, it appears that 5-HT can stimulate the production of this second messenger in cerebral arteries by a mechanism which is different from peripheral arteries.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





415 - 421


1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine, Animals, Diglycerides, Female, In Vitro Techniques, Inositol Phosphates, Isoquinolines, Male, Muscle Contraction, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate, Piperazines, Protein Kinase C, Rabbits, Serotonin