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Pflugers Arch. 1995 Oct;430(6):901-8.

Enhanced excitatory junction potentials in mesenteric arteries from spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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  • 1Neuroscience Group, Discipline of Human Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia.


Excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) were examined using intracellular recording techniques in mesenteric arteries isolated from 12- to 15-week-old spontaneously hypertensive (SHR), Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. The amplitudes of EJPs evoked by single supramaximal stimuli were larger in arteries from SHRs (12.9 +/- 0.7 mV, n = 16) than in arteries from either WKYs (5.2 +/- 0.5 mV, n = 24) or SDs (8.6 +/- 0.8 mV, n = 15). The time constant of decay of EJPs did not differ significantly, suggesting that the passive electrical properties of the vascular smooth muscle are similar in the three rat strains. Spontaneous EJPs recorded in tissues from SHRs and WKYs had similar amplitude frequency distributions, suggesting that the quantal size is also similar between strains. In some arteries from SHRs, EJPs evoked by single stimuli triggered muscle action potentials (MAPs). Visible constriction only occurred following a MAP. In tissues from all three strains, summation of EJPs triggered MAPs. As EJPs are generated by the sympathetic co-transmitter adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), the findings of the present study indicate that purinergic transmission is enhanced in mesenteric arteries from SHRs, probably as a result of an increase in quantal release. A consequence is that when nerves are activated SHR arteries more readily undergo constriction that is dependent on voltage-activated Ca2+ influx.

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