Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Pharmacol. 2002 Feb;135(3):735-40.

Testosterone-induced vasorelaxation in the rat mesenteric arterial bed is mediated predominantly via potassium channels.

Author information

  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH.


We have investigated the involvement of nitric oxide and K(+) channels in the vasorelaxant responses to physiologically-relevant concentrations of testosterone in the rat isolated mesenteric arterial bed. Testosterone (100 pM - 10 microM) elicited concentration-dependent relaxations in the isolated mesenteric arterial bed (pEC(50)=9.47 (9.22 - 9.73, 95% CI), maximal relaxation, R(max)=62.8+/-2.0%, n=6). A nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 300 microM) or removal of the endothelium significantly inhibited maximal relaxations to testosterone (L-NAME: R(max)=51.4+/-1.1%, P<0.01, n=6; endothelium-denuded: R(max)=46.9+/-2.8%, P<0.001, n=5). Raising the extracellular K(+) concentration to 30 and 60 mM, or pre-treatment with 300 microM tetrabutylammonium chloride (TBA), a calcium-activated K(+) channel inhibitor, abolished vasorelaxations induced by testosterone. A selective inhibitor of ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels, glibenclamide (10 microM) and an inhibitor of voltage-sensitive K(+) (K(V)) channels, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, 1 mM) did not affect testosterone-induced responses. Vasorelaxation to 1 microM testosterone was significantly (P<0.05) inhibited by 100 nM charybdotoxin (ChTx), an inhibitor of large conductance calcium-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels (control: 63.3+/-9.9%, n=6; ChTx: 11.9+/-12.7%, n=3). Neither the testosterone receptor antagonist, flutamide (10 microM) nor an aromatase inhibitor, aminoglutethimide (10 microM) inhibited testosterone-induced responses. In conclusion, the present findings demonstrate, in the rat isolated mesenteric arterial bed, that testosterone causes acute vasorelaxations at physiologically relevant concentrations which are, in part, mediated via NO- and endothelium-dependent pathways. However, the activation of BK(Ca) channels plays a substantial role in testosterone-induced vasorelaxation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center