Bradykinin evokes endothelium-dependent relaxation in some vascular beds; on the other hand, the possibility has been demonstrated that in certain organs, such as the adrenal medulla or atria, bradykinin may enhance transmitter release from the sympathetic nerves. We hypothesized that bradykinin may also enhance postganglionic sympathetic neurotransmission in blood vessels. To test this hypothesis, we recorded excitatory junction potentials (EJPs), a measure of sympathetic purinergic neurotransmission, in rat mesenteric resistance arteries with a conventional microelectrode technique. EJPs were elicited by repetitive perivascular nerve stimulation (1 Hz, 20 to 50 V, 30 to 60 μs, 11 pulses). In this preparation, bradykinin (10-7 or 10-6 mol/L) significantly enhanced the amplitude of EJPs without altering the resting membrane potential. This effect of bradykinin was blocked by Hoe 140, a bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist, but not by des-Arg9,[Leu8]-bradykinin, a bradykinin B1 receptor antagonist. The cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin or NO synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine did not alter the effect of bradykinin. Captopril, an ACE inhibitor, but not candesartan, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, enhanced the action of a low concentration (10-8 mol/L) of bradykinin on EJPs. These findings suggest that in rat mesenteric resistance arteries, bradykinin enhances sympathetic purinergic neurotransmission, presumably through presynaptic bradykinin B2 receptors. The clinical relevance of the present findings remains unclear; however, the fact that the ACE inhibitor, but not the angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, enhanced the action of bradykinin on sympathetic neurotransmission may warrant further investigation.
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