Hypoxia/reoxygenation reduces microvascular endothelial cell coupling by a tyrosine and MAP kinase dependent pathway

Keeley Rose, Yves Ouellette, Michael Bolon, Karel Tyml

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Communication of electrical signals along the microvascular endothelium plays a key role in integrating microvascular function required for local regulation of blood flow. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of a short-term hypoxia (0.1% O2, 1 h) plus reoxygenation (H/R) on electrical coupling in cultured monolayers of microvascular endothelial cells (rat skeletal muscle origin). To assess coupling, we used a current injection technique and a Bessel function model to compute the intercellular resistance (an inverse measure of coupling) and cell membrane resistivity (a measure of resistance to current leakage across the cell membrane). H/R resulted in rapid (within 4 min after reoxygenation) and sustained (up to 100 min) reduction in intercellular coupling, but it did not alter membrane resistivity. H/R did not alter gap junction protein connexin 43 expression nor its tyrosine phosphorylation as determined by immunoblot and immunoprecipitation analyses. Inhibition of mitochondrial respiration (1 mM NaCN) did not mimic the effect of H/R. However, pre-treatment of monolayers with tyrphostin A48 (1.5 μM), PP2 (10 nM) (tyrosine kinase inhibitors), U 0126 (20 μM), and PD 98059 (5 μM) (MEK1/2 inhibitors) inhibited the H/R-induced reduction in coupling. These results indicate that endothelial cell coupling was reduced quickly after reoxygenation, via activation of a tyrosine and MAP kinase dependent pathway. We predict that a short-term H/R can rapidly compromise microvascular function in terms of reduced cellular communication along the vascular wall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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