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Circ Res. 1994 May;74(5):1005-8.

ATP-sensitive K+ channels mediate dilatation of cerebral arterioles during hypoxia.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242.


We tested the hypothesis that dilatation of cerebral arterioles during hypoxia is mediated by activation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels. The diameter of pial arterioles was measured through a closed cranial window in anesthetized rabbits. Topical application of aprikalim (10(-6) mol/L), a direct activator of ATP-sensitive K+ channels, dilated pial arterioles by 18 +/- 3% (mean +/- SEM). Glibenclamide (10(-6) mol/L), an inhibitor of ATP-sensitive K+ channels, virtually abolished aprikalim-induced vasodilatation. When arterial PO2 was reduced from 129 +/- 3 to 25 +/- 1 mm Hg, the diameter of cerebral arterioles increased by 66 +/- 9% (P < .05). Glibenclamide inhibited dilatation of pial arterioles during hypoxia by 46 +/- 5% (P < .05). In contrast, vasodilatation in response to sodium nitroprusside was not altered by glibenclamide. Topical application of adenosine (10(-4) mol/L) increased arteriolar diameter by 21 +/- 4%. Glibenclamide did not affect adenosine-induced vasodilatation. These findings suggest that dilatation of cerebral arterioles in response to hypoxia is mediated, in part, by activation of ATP-sensitive K+ channels.

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