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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Aug;294(2):598-604.

Vascular reactivity of isolated thoracic aorta of the C57BL/6J mouse.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1317, USA.


We characterized the thoracic aorta from the C57BL/6J mouse, a strain used commonly in the generation of genetically altered mice, in response to vasoactive substances. Strips of aorta were mounted in tissue baths for measurement of isometric contractile force. Cumulative concentration-response curves to agonists were generated to observe contraction, or relaxation in tissues contracted with phenylephrine or prostaglandin F(2alpha) (PGF(2alpha)). In endothelium-denuded strips, the order of agonist contractile potency (-log EC(50) [M]) was norepinephrine > phenylephrine = 5-hydroxytryptamine > dopamine > PGF(2alpha) > isoproterenol > KCl. Angiotensin II and endothelin-1 were weakly efficacious (15% of maximum phenylephrine contraction), as were UK14,304, clonidine, histamine, and adenosine. In endothelium-intact strips, agonists still caused contraction and both angiotensin II and endothelin-1 remained ineffective. In experiments focusing on angiotensin II, angiotensin II-induced contraction was abolished by the AT(1) receptor antagonist losartan (1 microM) but was not enhanced in the presence of the AT(2) receptor antagonist PD123319 (0.1 microM), tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor orthovanadate (1 microM) or when angiotensin II was given noncumulatively. Prazosin abolished isoproterenol-induced contraction and did not unmask isoproterenol-induced relaxation. Angiotensin II and endothelin-1 did not cause endothelium-dependent or -independent relaxation in phenylephrine- or PGF(2alpha)-contracted tissues. Acetylcholine but not histamine, dopamine, or adenosine caused an endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation. These experiments provide information as to the vascular reactivity of the normal mouse thoracic aorta and demonstrate that the mouse aorta differs substantially from rat aorta in response to isoproterenol, angiotensin II, endothelin-1, histamine, and adenosine.

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