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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Feb;300(2):R470-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00491.2010. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Characteristics of myogenic reactivity in isolated rat mesenteric veins.

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Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.


Mechanisms of mechanically induced venous tone and its interaction with the endothelium and key vasoactive neurohormones are not well established. We investigated the contribution of the endothelium, l-type voltage-operated calcium channels (L-VOCCs), and PKC and Rho kinase to myogenic reactivity in mesenteric vessels exposed to increasing transmural pressure. The interaction of myogenic reactivity with norepinephrine (NE) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) was also investigated. Pressure myography was used to study isolated, cannulated, third-order rat mesenteric small veins and arteries. NE and ET-1 concentration response curves were constructed at low, intermediate, and high transmural pressures. Myogenic reactivity was not altered by nitric oxide synthase inhibition with N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA; 100 μM) or endothelium removal in both vessels. L-VOCCs blockade (nifedipine, 1 μM) completely abolished arterial tone, while only partially reducing venous tone. PKC (chelerythrine, 2.5 μM) and Rho kinase (Y27632, 3 μM) inhibitors largely abolished venous and arterial myogenic reactivity. There was no significant difference in the sensitivity of NE or ET-1-induced contractions within vessels. However, veins were more sensitive to NE and ET-1 when compared with corresponding arteries at low, intermediate, and high transmural pressures, respectively. These results suggest that 1) myogenic factors are important contributors to net venous tone in mesenteric veins; 2) PKC and Rho activation are important in myogenic reactivity in both vessels, while l-VOCCs play a limited role in the veins vs. the arteries, and the endothelium does not appear to modulate myogenic reactivity in either vessel type; and 3) mesenteric veins maintain an enhanced sensitivity to NE and ET-1 compared with the arteries when studied under conditions of changing transmural distending pressure.

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