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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):H495-507. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00349.2009. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Role of arachidonic acid lipoxygenase metabolites in the regulation of vascular tone.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.


Stimulation of vascular endothelial cells with agonists such as acetylcholine (ACh) or bradykinin or with shear stress activates phospholipases and releases arachidonic acid (AA). AA is metabolized by cyclooxygenases, cytochrome P-450s, and lipoxygenases (LOs) to vasoactive products. In some arteries, a substantial component of the vasodilator response is dependent on LO metabolites of AA. Nitric oxide (NO)- and prostaglandin (PG)-independent vasodilatory responses to ACh and AA are reduced by inhibitors of LO and by antisense oligonucleotides specifically against 15-LO-1. Vasoactive 15-LO metabolites derived from the vascular endothelium include 15-hydroxy-11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (15-H-11,12-HEETA) that is hydrolyzed by soluble epoxide hydrolase to 11,12,15-trihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid (11,12,15-THETA). HEETA and THETA are endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors that induce vascular relaxations by activation of smooth muscle apamin-sensitive, calcium-activated, small-conductance K(+) channels causing hyperpolarization. In other arteries, the 12-LO metabolite 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid is synthesized by the vascular endothelium and relaxes smooth muscle by large-conductance, calcium-activated K(+) channel activation. Thus formation of vasodilator eicosanoids derived from LO pathways contributes to the regulation of vascular tone, local blood flow, and blood pressure.

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