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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):H2636-43.

ATP stimulates chemically sensitive and sensitizes mechanically sensitive afferents.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, 17033, USA.


We examined whether ATP stimulation of P2X purinoceptors would raise blood pressure in decerebrate cats. Femoral arterial injection of the P2X receptor agonist alpha,beta-methylene ATP into the blood supply of the triceps surae muscle induced a dose-dependent increase in arterial blood pressure. The maximal increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) evoked by 0.1, 0.2, and 0.5 mM alpha,beta-methylene ATP (0.5 ml/min injection rate) was 6.2 +/- 2.5, 22.5 +/- 4.4, and 35.2 +/- 3.9 mmHg, respectively. The P2X receptor antagonist pyridoxal phosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid (2 mM ia) attenuated the increase in MAP elicited by intra-arterial alpha,beta-methylene ATP (0.5 mM), whereas the P2Y receptor antagonist reactive blue 2 (2 mM ia) did not affect the MAP response to alpha,beta-methylene ATP. In a second group of experiments, we tested the hypothesis that ATP acting through P2X receptors would sensitize muscle afferents and, thereby, augment the blood pressure response to muscle stretch. Two kilograms of muscle stretch evoked a 26.5 +/- 4.3 mmHg increase in MAP. This MAP response was enhanced when 2 mM ATP or 0.1 mM alpha,beta-methylene ATP (0.5 ml/min) was arterially infused 10 min before muscle stretch. Furthermore, this effect of ATP on the pressor response to stretch was attenuated by 2 mM pyridoxal phosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulfonic acid (P < 0.05) but not by the P1 purinoceptor antagonist 8-(p-sulfophenyl)-theophylline (2 mM). These data indicate that activation of ATP-sensitive P2X receptors evokes a skeletal muscle afferent-mediated pressor response and that ATP at relatively low doses enhances the muscle pressor response to stretch via engagement of P2X receptors.

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