Pertussis toxin reduces endothelium-dependent and independent responses to alpha-2 adrenergic stimulation in systemic canine arteries and veins

V. M. Miller, N. A. Flavahan, P. M. Vanhoutte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide regulatory protein (G-protein) is involved in the signal transduction of certain endothelium-dependent responses in mammalian arteries. To determine whether a similar mechanism mediates endothelium-dependent responses in mammalian veins, rings of canine femoral arteries and veins with and without endothelium were suspended for the measurement of isometric force in organ chambers. In femoral arteries, incubation of the rings with pertussis toxin (from Bordetella pertussis, 100 ng/ml for 2 hr) in the presence of indomethacin and propranolol did not reduce significantly endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine and adenosine diphosphate, thrombin or the calcium ionophore A23187. However, endothelium-depondent relaxations evoked by the alpha-2 adrenergic agonist UK 14,304 were blocked by the pertussis toxin. In venous rings, endothelium-dependent relaxations to acetylcholine were reduced by the toxin, whereas the endothelium-dependent relaxations evoked by adenosine diphosphate, thrombin and A23187 were not affected. UK 14,304 contracted the veins; these contractions were augmented by removal of the endothelium. Pertussis toxin inhibited contractions to UK 14,304 in venous rings without but not with endothelium. Relaxations of arterial and venous smooth muscle to nitric oxide were unaffected by the toxin. Contractions to phenylephrine were not altered by either removal of the endothelium or the toxin in the arteries or veins. These results suggest that the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factor in response to stimulation of purine and thrombin receptors probably does not involve a pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein in canine femoral arteries or veins. However, activation of such a protein may be necessary for the endothelial response to alpha-2 adrenergic stimulation in these blood vessels and for the contraction of venous smooth muscle evoked by alpha-2 adrenergic agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-293
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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