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Cardiovasc Res. 1980 Oct;14(10):613-8.

Spontaneous phasic activity of isolated human coronary arteries.


The functional behaviour and pharmacological responses of ring segments of large coronary arteries removed from five patients undergoing cardiac transplantation were studied in vitro. All segments showed spontaneous rhythmic contractions which were markedly dependent on external calcium and were rapidly abolished in calcium-free solutions and by verapamil. The contractions were inhibited by cooling and by anoxia. Phasic activity was enhanced by increasing the external potassium concentration over the range 5 to 20 mmol.litre-1 but was abolished by 120 mmol.litre-1 potassium. Noradrenaline and ergonovine enhanced or induced phasic activity. The behaviour of human coronary arteries resembles that of the portal-mesenteric veins of many species and our results suggest that the activation mechanisms of these two tissues may be similar.

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