Hyperpolarization of murine small caliber mesenteric arteries by activation of endothelial proteinase-activated receptor 2

John J. McGuire, Morley D. Hollenberg, Brian M. Bennett, Christopher Triggle

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Activation of endothelial proteinase-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2) relaxes vascular smooth muscle (VSM) and causes hypotension by nitric oxide (NO)-prostanoid-dependent and -independent mechanisms. We investigated whether endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization of VSM was the mechanism whereby resistance caliber arteries vasodilated independently of NO. VSM membrane potentials and isometric tension were measured concurrently to correlate the electrophysiological and mechanical changes in murine small caliber mesenteric arteries. In uncontracted arteries, the PAR-2 agonist, SLIGRL-NH2 (0.1 to 10 μmol/L), hyperpolarized the VSM membrane potential only in endothelium-intact arterial preparations. This response was unaltered by treatment of arteries with inhibitors of NO synthases (L-NAME), soluble guanylyl cyclase (ODQ), and cyclooxygenases (indomethacin). L-NAME, ODQ, and indomethacin also failed to inhibit SLIGRL-NH2-induced hyperpolarization and of cirazoline-contracted mesenteric arteries. However, in blood vessels that were depolarized and contracted with 30 mmol/L KCl, the effects of the SLIGRL-NH2 on membrane potential and tension were not observed. SLIGRL-NH2-induced hyperpolarization and relaxation was inhibited completely by the combination of apamin plus charybdotoxin, but only partially inhibited after treatment with the combination of barium plus ouabain, suggesting an important role for SKCa and IKCa channels and a lesser role for Kir channels and Na+/K+ ATPases in the hyperpolarization response. We concluded that activation of endothelial PAR-2 hyperpolarized the vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells of small caliber arteries, without requiring the activation of NO synthases, cyclooxygenases, or soluble guanylyl cyclase. Indeed, this hyperpolarization may be a primary mechanism for PAR-2-induced hypotension in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1112
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Blood vessels
  • Endothelium
  • Hyperpolarization
  • Protease-activated receptor 2
  • Proteinase-activated receptor 2
  • Transgenic mice
  • Vascular smooth muscle
  • Vasoactive peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)

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