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Hypertension Research
Vol. 26 (2003) No. 3 March P 237-243



Experimental studies

We investigated mechanisms of endothelium-dependent relaxation by acetylcholine resistant to indomethacin and NG-nitro-L-arginine and sensitive to cytochrome P-450 (CYP) inhibitors or charybdotoxin +apamin in the monkey lingual artery. Treatment with quinacrine, an inhibitor of phospholipase A2, abolished the relaxation by acetylcholine. However, treatment with α-glycyrrhetinic acid, an inhibitor of gap junctions, or catalase, an enzyme which dismutates hydrogen peroxide to form water and oxygen, did not affect the relaxation by acetylcholine. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the presence of CYP3A4 in endothelial cells of the artery. Anti-CYP3A4 antibody inhibited relaxations by products of arachidonic acid incubated with human liver microsomes rich in CYPs in the endothelium-denuded artery. Purified CYP3A4 produced epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) from arachidonic acid, and the production was abolished by a selective CYP3A inhibitor, ketoconazole. It may be concluded that endothelium-derived relaxing substance(s) other than nitric oxide and prostanoids in the monkey lingual artery opens charybdotoxin+apamin-sensitive K+ channels in smooth muscle cells, and arachidonic acid metabolite(s) produced by endothelial CYP3A4 is likely to be the major substance. (Hypertens Res 2003; 26: 237-243)

Copyright © 2003 by the Japanese Society of Hypertension

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