Role of potassium channels in relaxations of canine middle cerebral arteries induced by nitric oxide donors

Hisashi Onoue, Zvonimir S. Katusic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: The mechanisms underlying smooth muscle relaxations of cerebral arteries in response to nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic GMP (cGMP) are still not completely understood. The present study was designed to determine the role of potassium channels in the relaxations to NO donors 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), as well as 8-bromo-3',5'-cGMP (a synthetic analogue of cGMP) and zaprinast (a selective cGMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor). Methods: Rings of canine middle cerebral arteries without endothelium were suspended to Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate solution for isometric tension recording. The levels of cGMP were measured by radioimmunoassay. Relaxations to NO donors 8-bromo-cGMP and zaprinast were studied in the presence and in the absence of K+ channel blockers charybdotoxin (large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels), glyburide (ATP-sensitive K+ channels), 4-aminopyridine (delayed rectifier K+ channels), and BaCl2 (multiple types of K+ channels). Results: Concentration-dependent relaxations caused by NO donors (SIN-1 and SNP) were significantly reduced in arteries treated with BaCl2 (3x10-4 mol/L) or charybdotoxin (3x10-8 mol/L). Relaxations to 8-bromo-cGMP were not affected by the same concentrations of BaCl2 and charybdotoxin; however, they were reduced by higher concentrations of BaCl2 (3x10-3 mol/L) and charybdotoxin (10-7 mol/L). Zaprinast-induced relaxations were significantly reduced by BaCl2 (3x10-4 mol/L) or charybdotoxin (3x10-8 mol/L). Glyburide (10-3 mol/L) and 4-aminopyridine (10-3 mol/L) did not alter the relaxations to SIN-1 or SNP. The production of cGMP stimulated by SIN-1 in the vascular smooth muscle was not affected by BaCl2 (3x10-3 mol/L) or charybdotoxin (10-3 mol/L). Conclusions: These results indicate that in canine middle cerebral arteries, a significant portion of relaxations to NO liberated from nitrovasodilators is mediated by large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels. Other K+ channels, sensitive to BaCl2 may also be involved in the mechanism of relaxations induced by NO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1264-1271
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997


  • Cerebral arteries
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Dogs
  • Nitric oxide
  • Vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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