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Biochem Pharmacol. 2003 Feb 1;65(3):397-405.

Endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxation and VASP serines 157/239 phosphorylation by cyclic nucleotide-elevating vasodilators in rat aorta.

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  • 1Medical Clinic, University of Würzburg, Joseph-Schneider-Str. 2, D-97080 Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is thought to be mediated primarily by the NO/cGMP signaling pathway whereas cAMP-elevating vasodilators are considered to act independent of the endothelial cell layer. However, recent functional data suggest that cAMP-elevating vasodilators such as beta-receptor agonists, adenosine or forskolin may also be endothelium-dependent. Here we used functional and biochemical assays to analyze endothelium-dependent, cGMP- and cAMP-mediated signaling in rat aorta. Acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) induced a concentration-dependent relaxation of phenylephrine-precontracted aorta. This response was reflected by the phosphorylation of the vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), a validated substrate of cGMP- and cAMP-dependent protein kinases (cGK, cAK), on Ser(157) and Ser(239). As expected, the effects of acetylcholine were endothelium-dependent. However, relaxation induced by the beta-receptor agonist isoproterenol was also almost completely impaired after endothelial denudation. At the biochemical level, acetylcholine- and isoproterenol-evoked cGK and cAK activation, respectively, as measured by VASP Ser(239) and Ser(157) phosphorylation, was strongly diminished. Furthermore, the effects of isoproterenol were repressed by eNOS inhibition when endothelium was present. We also observed that the relaxing and biochemical effects of forskolin were at least partially endothelium-dependent. We conclude that cAMP-elevating vasodilators, i.e. isoproterenol and to a lesser extent also forskolin, induce vasodilation and concomitant cyclic nucleotide protein kinase activation in the vessel wall in an endothelium-dependent way.

PMID:
12527332
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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