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J Physiol. 1996 Jun 1;493 ( Pt 2):563-75.

Endothelium-dependent modulation of pacemaking in lymphatic vessels of the guinea-pig mesentery.

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Discipline of Human Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia.


1. Endothelial control of the rate of constrictions and the underlying pacemaker potentials has been studied in vitro in guinea-pig mesenteric lymphatic vessels. 2. ACh stimulated 60% of intraluminally perfused vessels to slow or abolish lymphatic constrictions. This action was inhibited by atropine and was likely to be due to the release of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (EDNO) as the effect was absent after endothelial lysis, mimicked by sodium nitroprusside (SNP), blocked by N omega-nitro L-arginine (NOLA) and partially inhibited by Methylene Blue (MB). 3. The remaining 40% of perfused vessels did not mechanically respond to ACh or SNP. In four of seven such vessels this appeared to be due to excessive perfusion-associated release of EDNO, as incubation with NOLA restored the response to SNP. 4. Application of NOLA or MB in perfused vessels significantly increased constriction frequency, further indicating perfusion-associated release of EDNO. 5. ACh induced a marked increase in endothelial [Ca2+]i of both mechanically responding and non-responding vessels. This ACh-induced increase could be repetitively induced when Ca2+ was present in the perfusate, but rapidly ran down when a Ca(2+)-free EGTA perfusate was used. 6. Intracellular recordings from the smooth muscle of non-perfused vessel segments demonstrated an ACh-induced hyperpolarization and decrease in membrane resistance, changes which were prevented by atropine, NOLA, MB and endothelial lysis and mimicked by SNP. 7. ACh directly reduced the size of the underlying pacemaker potentials termed spontaneous transient depolarizations (STDs). 8. NOLA and MB enhanced STDs in non-perfused vessel segments indicating an endogenous release of EDNO. 9. It is concluded that the lymphatic endothelium produces and releases EDNO endogenously, during perfusion or after stimulation with ACh, to decrease the efficacy of STDs to generate action potentials and resultant constrictions.

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