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Br J Pharmacol. 1994 Sep;113(1):81-6.

Pharmacological characterization of rabbit corpus cavernosum relaxation mediated by the tissue kallikrein-kinin system.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, UNICAMP, Campinas (SP), Brazil.


1. The roles of the tissue kallikrein-kinin system and nitric oxide (NO) release in Phoneutria nigriventer venom-induced relaxations of rabbit corpus cavernosum (RbCC) smooth muscle have been investigated by use of a bioassay cascade. 2. Phoneutria nigriventer venom (10-30 micrograms), porcine pancreatic kallikrein (100 mu), rabbit urinary kallikrein (10 mu), bradykinin (BK, 0.3-3 nmol), acetylcholine (ACh, 0.3-30 nmol) and glyceryl trinitrate (GTN, 0.5-10 nmol) caused relaxations of the RbCC strips. Captopril (1 microM) substantially potentiated Phoneutria nigriventer venom- and BK-induced RbCC relaxations without affecting those elicited by GTN. 3. The bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist, Hoe 140 (D-Arg-[Hyp3,Thi5,D- Tic7,Oic8]-BK, 50 nM), aprotinin (10 micrograms ml-1) and the tissue kallikrein inhibitor, Pro-Phe-Aph-Ser-Val- Gln-NH2 (KIZD-06, 1.3 microM) significantly inhibited Phoneutria nigriventer venom-induced RbCC relaxations, without affecting those provoked by GTN and ACh. The B1 receptor antagonist, [Leu9]des Arg10BK (0.5 microM) and soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI, 10 micrograms ml-1) had no effect on Phoneutria nigriventer venom-induced RbCC relaxations. 4. The relaxations induced by Phoneutria nigriventer venom, porcine pancreas kallikrein, BK and ACh were significantly inhibited by N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 microM) but not by D-NAME (10 microM). L-NAME did not affect GTN-induced relaxations. L-Arginine (300 microM), but not D-arginine (300 microM), significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of L-NAME. 5. Our results indicate that Phoneutria nigriventer venom activates the tissue kallikrein-kininogen-kinin system in RbCC strips leading to NO release and suggest a functional role for this system in penile erection.

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