Kv POTASSIUM CHANNELS AND RELAXATION OF RAT SMALL MESENTERIC ARTERIES BY HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
H2O2 is an endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). The effects of exogenous H2O2 may vary with the vascular bed and experimental conditions. Various contributions of different K+ channels and of cyclic GMP have been shown for the relaxing effect of H2O2 in small arteries from different species and vascular beds. Aim: Here we studied the involvement of Kv channels in H2O2-induced relaxation of vascular smooth muscle. Material and methods: We used de-endothelised rings of rat small mesenteric arteries. Results: H2O2 induced similar relaxations of rings pre-contracted by either norepinephrine (NE) or phenylephrine (PHE). Inhibition of H2O2 effect in the case of NE was complete with 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), a blocker of Kv channels, as shown recently by another group, using the same vascular preparation. The inhibition of H2O2 effect by 4-AP was weaker in the case of PHE than in the case of NE. Conclusions: Based on our results, and also on the recent findings from other laboratories, we may suggest that, at least in rat small mesenteric arteries, the relaxation induced by H2O2 is mediated to a different extent by Kv and by other mechanisms, depending on the contracting agent. Endogenous endothelium-derived H2O2 could activate various smooth muscle K+ channels and thus functionally compensate for decreased NO availability.
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