We tested the hypothesis that activation of Na+/H+ exchanger is involved in dilator responses of the basilar artery to endothelium-dependent vasodilators in vivo. Using a cranial window in anesthetized rats, we examined responses of the basilar artery to acetylcholine and bradykinin. Topical application of acetylcholine and bradykinin increased diameter of the basilar artery in a concentration-related manner. Because NG-nitro-L-arginine, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, almost abolished vasodilator responses to acetylcholine and bradykinin, vasodilatation produced by the agonists appears to be mediated primarily by nitric oxide. 5-N,N-Hexamethyleneamiloride, an inhibitor of Na+/H+ exchanger, did not affect baseline diameter of the basilar artery, but inhibited vasodilatation in response to acetylcholine and bradykinin, without affecting vasodilatation produced by sodium nitroprusside. FR183998, another inhibitor of Na+/H+ exchanger, also attenuated acetylcholine-induced dilatation of the basilar artery without affecting vasodilatation in response to sodium nitroprusside. Monomethylamine hydrochloride, which produces intracellular alkalinization, enhanced acetylcholine-induced dilatation of the basilar artery in the presence of 5-N,N-hexamethyleneamiloride. These results suggest that intracellular alkalinization produced by activation of Na+/H+ exchanger may enhance nitric oxide production in the basilar arterial endothelium and thereby contribute to dilator responses of the artery in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology