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Fed Proc. 1986 Aug;45(9):2355-9.

The alpha adrenoceptors on endothelial cells.


Endothelial cells release a powerful factor (endothelium-derived relaxing factor [EDRF]) that relaxes smooth muscle cells in response to some vasodilating agents such as acetylcholine. Contraction curves to norepinephrine (NE) in greyhound, mongrel dog, and pig coronary artery rings were studied in vitro in the presence of propranolol. Removal of endothelium increased the sensitivity and maximum contraction in response to NE. In other experiments pig coronary rings were precontracted with a thromboxane mimetic U 46619 in the presence of propranolol. NE relaxed these arteries only if endothelium was present. Methoxamine was without effect but the relaxation response to NE was antagonized by phentolamine, idazoxan, and yohimbine, which suggests that there are alpha 2 adrenoceptors on endothelial cells that mediate the release of EDRF. Greyhound and mongrel dog large coronary arteries relaxed to NE only if prazosin was present, which suggests that alpha 1-adrenoceptor stimulation on the vascular smooth muscle can override the relaxation response to EDRF. Comparison of NE responses in carotid, mesenteric, renal, and femoral large arteries of the pig, greyhound, and mongrel dog indicate the nonuniformity of distribution of alpha 2 adrenoceptors on endothelium and alpha 1 and alpha 2 adrenoceptors on vascular smooth muscle. The integrity of the endothelium must now be considered in interpreting the vascular responses to alpha-adrenoceptor agonists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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