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J Physiol. 1987 Mar;384:153-67.

Comparison of the frequency dependence of venous and arterial responses to sympathetic nerve stimulation in guinea-pigs.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724.


1. Intracellular potentials and measurements of contractions were recorded in adjacent veins and arteries in the colonic mesentery of the guinea-pig in vitro during stimulation of post-ganglionic nerve trunks. 2. Repetitive stimulation (0.5-5 Hz) of lumbar colonic nerve trunks produced frequency-dependent slow depolarizations in all venous and in 92% of arterial smooth muscle cells. Excitatory junction potentials were observed for each nerve shock in arteries, but not in veins. 3. Low-frequency stimulations produced slow depolarizations of greater amplitude and longer duration in veins than in arteries. The frequencies at which half-maximal depolarizations and contractions occurred were always lower for veins than for arteries. 4. The alpha 1-adrenergic antagonist prazosin (5 X 10(-7) M) reduced the mean arterial slow depolarizations by 82% and reduced mean venous slow depolarizations by 58% for 5 Hz stimulations. Arterial contractions were completely inhibited by prazosin but venous contractions were incompletely reduced in a frequency-dependent manner. 5. These findings suggest that functional differences in activation between mesenteric veins and arteries during sympathetic stimulation are a result of differences in neuromuscular transmission.

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