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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2005 Nov;46(5):627-36.

Effects of thiol chelation on alpha1-adrenoceptor-induced vasoconstriction in vivo.

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Department of Cardiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.


The aims of this study were to determine whether systemic injections of the lipophobic thiol chelator, para-hydroxymercurobenzoic acid (PHMBA) would reduce the vasoconstrictor responses elicited by the alpha1-adrenoceptor agonist, phenylephrine, in urethane-anesthetized rats by chelation of thiol residues in alpha1-adrenoceptors in vascular smooth muscle rather than voltage-sensitive Ca(2+)-channels (Ca(2+)VERSUS-channels). The magnitudes and durations of the vasoconstrictor responses elicited by phenylephrine were markedly reduced after the injections of PHMBA. In contrast, the maximal phenylephrine-induced responses were not affected whereas the durations of these responses were markedly attenuated after injection of the Ca(2+)VERSUS-channel blocker, nifedipine. Nifedipine elicited pronounced and sustained falls in mean arterial blood pressure and vascular resistances in PHMBA-treated rats. Moreover, the vasodilator actions of the nitric oxide-donor, sodium nitroprusside were minimally attenuated by PHMBA whereas they were markedly attenuated by nifedipine. These findings support evidence that the vasoconstrictor responses due to activation of alpha1-adrenoceptors are initiated by mobilization of intracellular pools of Ca(2+) whereas they are sustained by opening of Ca(2+)VERSUS-channels. These findings also suggest that PHMBA diminishes the vasoconstrictor effects of phenylephrine by chelation of thiol residues in alpha1-adrenoceptors rather than by blockade of Ca(2+)VERSUS-channels, and that chelation of these thiol residues prevents agonist occupation and/or activation of these receptors and subsequent mobilization of intracellular pools of Ca(2+).

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