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      Gap Junctional Communication and Vascular Smooth Muscle Reactivity: Use of Tetraethylammonium Chloride

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          Abstract

          Oscillatory contractions in uterine smooth muscle are mechanistically related to gap junction complex formation. We have tested the hypothesis that agonist-induced oscillations in vascular smooth muscle are also mediated by gap junctions and that gap junctions are important for vascular smooth muscle cell communication. Total RNA from cultured Wistar-Kyoto rat (WKY) mesenteric arterial cells hybridized strongly with a cDNA probe for the message for connexin43, a monomer of the gap junction. In these same cells, the quaternary ion tetraethylammonium (TEA) (10 m M) increased Lucifer yellow dye transfer between contiguous cells, a measure of cell-to-cell communication via gap junctions, approximately 35% above basal levels. Heptanol, an established inhibitor of gap junction communication, completely blocked both basal- and TEA-stimulated dye transfer between neighboring cells. In other experiments, helical strips of superior mesenteric and tail arteries from WKY rats were mounted in tissue baths for measurement of isometric contractile force. TEA (10<sup>–3</sup>–10<sup>–1</sup> M) induced oscillatory contractions (1–5 cycle/min) in both mesenteric and tail arteries. Removal of endothelium did not affect the pattern of TEA-stimulated oscillations. Oscillations to TEA were blocked in a concentration-dependent manner in both arteries by heptanol (10<sup>–7</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M). Heptanol (10<sup>–3</sup> M) also significantly reduced (40%) acetylcholine-induced relaxation in the mesenteric artery (contracted with phenylephrine). Thus, these data document that: (1) the message for the gap junction protein connexin43 is located in cultured arterial cells; (2) TEA induces oscillatory contractions in vascular smooth muscle and stimulates intercellular communication in cultured cells, and (3) oscillatory contractions, vascular relaxation and intercellular communication are blocked by the gap junction inhibitor heptanol. Collectively, these data strongly support the importance of gap junctional communication in vascular smooth muscle reactivity, including both oscillatory contractions and vascular relaxation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          JVR
          J Vasc Res
          10.1159/issn.1018-1172
          Journal of Vascular Research
          S. Karger AG
          1018-1172
          1423-0135
          1994
          1994
          23 September 2008
          : 31
          : 5
          : 307-313
          Affiliations
          aDepartment of Physiology, and bDepartment of Environmental and Industrial Health, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich., USA
          Article
          159057 J Vasc Res 1994;31:307–313
          10.1159/000159057
          7986954
          © 1994 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 7
          Categories
          Research Paper

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