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J Physiol. 2008 Nov 15;586(22):5295-304. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2008.161430. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

Endothelium-dependent contractions: when a good guy turns bad!

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China. vanhoutt@hkucc.hku.hk

Abstract

Endothelial cells can induce contractions of the underlying vascular smooth muscle by generating vasoconstrictor prostanoids (endothelium-dependent contracting factor; EDCF). The endothelial COX-1 isoform of cyclooxygenase appears to play the dominant role in the phenomenon. Its activation requires an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. The production of EDCF is inhibited acutely and chronically by nitric oxide (NO), and possibly by endothelium-dependent hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). The main prostanoids involved in endothelium-dependent contractions appear to be endoperoxides (PGH(2)) and prostacyclin, which activate thromboxane-prostanoid (TP) receptors of the vascular smooth muscle cells. Oxygen-derived free radicals can facilitate the production and/or the action of EDCF. Endothelium-dependent contractions are exacerbated by ageing, obesity, hypertension and diabetes, and thus are likely to contribute to the endothelial dysfunction observed in older people and in essential hypertensive patients.

PMID:
18818246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2655387
Free PMC Article
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