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Br J Pharmacol. 1997 Sep;122(1):158-64.

Involvement of cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases in cyclic AMP-mediated vasorelaxation.

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Université Louis Pasteur de Strasbourg, Laboratoire de Pharmacologie et de Physiopathologie Cellulaires, CNRS URA 600, Illkirch, France.


1. The involvement of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKC) in the effects of cyclic AMP-elevating agents on vascular smooth muscle relaxation, cyclic nucleotide dependent-protein kinase activities and ATP-induced calcium signalling ([Ca2+]i was studied in rat aorta. Cyclic AMP-elevating agents used were a beta-adrenoceptor agonist (isoprenaline), a phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) inhibitor (SK&F 94120) and a PDE4 inhibitor (rolipram). 2. In rat intact aorta, the relaxant effect induced by isoprenaline (0.01-0.03 microM) was decreased by a specific inhibitor of PKA, H-89, whereas a specific inhibitor of PKG, Rp-8-Br-cyclic GMPs, was without effect. NO significant difference in PKA and PKG activity ratios was detected in aortic rings when isoprenaline 10 microM was used. At the same concentration, isoprenaline did not modify ATP-induced changes in [Ca2+]i in smooth muscle cells. Neither H-89 nor Rp-8-Br-cyclic GMPs modified this response. These findings suggest that PKA is only involved in the relaxant effect induced by low concentrations of isoprenaline (0.01-0.3 microM), whereas for higher concentrations, other mechanisms independent of PKA and PKG were involved. 3. The relaxant effects induced by SK&F 94120 and rolipram were inhibited by Rp-8-Br-cyclic GMPS with no significant effect of H-89. Neither SK&F 94120, nor rolipram at 30 microM significantly modified the activity ratios of PKA and PKG. Rolipram inhibited the ATP-induced transient increase in [Ca2+]i. This decrease was abolished by Rp-8-Br-cyclic GMPS whereas H-89 had no significant effect. These results suggests that PKG is involved in the vascular effects induced by the inhibitors of PDE3 and PDE4. Moreover, since it was previously shown that PDE3 and PDE4 inhibitors only increased cyclic AMP levels with no change in cyclic GMP level, these data also suggest a cross-activation of PKG by cyclic AMP in rat aorta. 4. The combinations of 5 microM SK&F 94120 with rolipram markedly potentiated the relaxant effect of rolipram. This relaxation was decreased by H-89 and not significantly modified by Rp-8-Br-cyclic GMPS. Moreover, the association of the two PDE inhibitors significantly increased the activity ratio of PKA without changing the PKG ratio. The present findings show that PKA rather than PKG is involved in this type of vasorelaxation. The differences in the participation of PKA vs PKG observed when inhibitors of PDE3 and PDE4 were used alone or together could be due to differences in the degree of accumulation of cyclic AMP, resulting in the activation of PKA or PKG which are differently localized in the cell. 5. These findings support for both PKA and PKG in cyclic AMP-mediated relaxation in raT aorta. Their involvement depends on the cellular pathway used to increase the cyclic AMP level.

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