Purpose: Gastric dysmotility has been reported in patients with long-standing diabetes mellitus (DM). Some patients with DM are diagnosed as diabetes gastroparesis and have several upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as appetite loss and abdominal pain. This study aimed to identify the relationship between gastric motility and upper GI symptoms in patients with long-standing DM. Method: This study was conducted among 23 patients with DM and 15 healthy controls. All the patients with DM were receiving insulin treatment and had at least one history of incidence of diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy or neuropathy. Gastric motility was evaluated using electrogastrography (EGG) and gastric emptying using the 13C-acetic acid breath test. The most severe upper gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed in all patients. Results: Compared to healthy controls, patients with long-standing DM showed a significantly lower percentage of normogastria at the postprandial state with a lower power ratio in EGG. Gastric emptying was significantly delayed in patients with DM in the overall analysis. Sixteen patients with DM (69.6%) demonstrated abnormalities in either gastric myoelectrical activity or gastric emptying. Among patients with abnormal EGG or delayed gastric emptying, 12 had some GI symptoms, compared with 3 patients with normal gastric motility. No significant correlation was observed between the gastric emptying parameters and HbA1c values. Conclusion: Patients with long-standing DM showed gastric dysmotility, including impaired gastric myoelectrical activity and delayed gastric emptying. Gastric dysmotility appears to be closely correlated with upper GI symptoms in patients with long-standing DM.
This review highlights molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammatory and protective effects of the nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in vascular tissue. PPARγ is an ubiquitously expressed nuclear factor, and well-studied in adipose tissue and inflammatory cells. Additionally, beneficial effects of vascular PPARγ’s on atherosclerosis and vascular remodeling/dysfunction have been reported although the detailed mechanism remains to be completely elucidated. Clinical and basic studies have shown that the synthetic PPARγ ligands, thiazolidinediones (TZDs), have protective effects against cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. Recent studies utilizing genetic tools suggested that those protective effects of TZDs on cardiovascular diseases are not due to a consequence of improvement of insulin resistance, but may be due to a direct effect on PPARγ’s in vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. In this review, we discuss proposed mechanisms by which the vascular PPARγ regulates vascular inflammation and remodeling/dysfunction especially in smooth muscle cells.
Angela L. McCall, Justin S. Dhindsa, Aidan M. Bailey, Logan A. Pucci, Laura M. Strickland, Mai K. ElMallah
Pompe disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations within the GAA gene, which encodes acid α-glucosidase (GAA)—an enzyme necessary for lysosomal glycogen degradation. A lack of GAA results in an accumulation of glycogen in cardiac and skeletal muscle, as well as in motor neurons. The only FDA approved treatment for Pompe disease—an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT)—increases survival of patients, but has unmasked previously unrecognized clinical manifestations of Pompe disease. These clinical signs and symptoms include tracheo-bronchomalacia, vascular aneurysms, and gastro-intestinal discomfort. Together, these previously unrecognized pathologies indicate that GAA-deficiency impacts smooth muscle in addition to skeletal and cardiac muscle. Thus, we sought to characterize smooth muscle pathology in the airway, vascular, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary in the Gaa−/− mouse model. Increased levels of glycogen were present in smooth muscle cells of the aorta, trachea, esophagus, stomach, and bladder of Gaa−/− mice, compared to wild type mice. In addition, there was an increased abundance of both lysosome membrane protein (LAMP1) and autophagosome membrane protein (LC3) indicating vacuolar accumulation in several tissues. Taken together, we show that GAA deficiency results in subsequent pathology in smooth muscle cells, which may lead to life-threatening complications if not properly treated.
The characteristic mechanical activities of the smooth muscles found in all organs of the body are highly variable and depend mainly on the spatial arrangement of the muscle cells and the stroma: mass, orientation, relationships, links, constraints, which are deployed in various configurations. These structural features are examined here for their mechanical relevance, in light and electron microscopic views of several muscles of viscera and blood vessels, in a selection of mammalian species. Smooth muscles are incompressible and therefore maintain constant volume. They do not have available space and any movement of a part requires displacement of another part. Most of them have no terminations or points of attachment, and in hollow organs such as intestines, blood vessels and uro-genital tract they usually form structures closed onto themselves, such as rings or bag-like containers In these situations, changes in the size of the lumen is achieved very efficiently by a concentric inward enlargement that accompanies muscle contraction. The longitudinal arrangement of collagen blocks an elongation of small blood vessels upon contraction, further enhancing the efficiency of lumen reduction. In other muscles, links between layers and special arrangements of the stroma allow both shortening and elongation of a tubular organ to occur. The mechanics of smooth muscles has many characteristic features (some unique, some shared with those of hydrostats, some at variance with other muscles) and histological data are a contribution to our understanding of these properties.
Mohamed Marghich, Ouafa Amrani, Hassane Mekhfi, Abderrahim Ziyyat, Mohamed Bnouham, Mohammed Aziz
Intestinal spasms are violent contractions that occur in the intestine, which cause discomfort to people who have them. Medicinal plants are widely used in traditional Moroccan medicine to treat these problems, among these being Artemisia campestris L. This study aims to evaluate the relaxant and antispasmodic effects of an aqueous extract of this plant (ACAE). It was performed in vitro on isolated segments of both isolated rat and rabbit jejunum mounted in an organ bath and tension recordings made via an isotonic transducer. ACAE caused a myorelaxant effect on baseline rabbit jejunum contractions in a dose-dependent and reversible manner with an IC50 of 1.52 ± 0.12 mg/ml. This extract would not act via adrenergic receptors pathway. On the other hand, the extract caused a dose-dependent relaxation of the jejunum tone in rat jejenum segments pre-contracted with either Carbachol (CCh; 10−6 M) or high K+ (KCl 75 mM) with an IC50 = 0.49 ± 0.02 mg/ml and 0.36 ± 0.02 mg/ml respectively. In the presence of different doses of the extract, the maximum response to CCh and CaCl2 was significantly reduced. This demonstrates that ACAE acts on both muscarinic receptors and voltage-dependent calcium channels. Thus, the plant extract acted on both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors and acts on the guanylate cyclase pathway, but not the nitric oxide pathway. These results indicate the mechanism by which Artemisia campestris L. acts as an effective antispasmodic agent in traditional Moroccan medicine.
There are various refractory chronic inflammatory diseases related to the genitourinary tract, such as interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. It has been reported that in the general population, these diseases are related to other chronic illnesses, such as irritable bowel syndrome or vulvodynia. Herein, we review papers regarding pelvic organ cross-sensitization, a factor which is considered to contribute to these relationships. Several other researchers and ourselves have reported that noxious stimuli from a diseased pelvic organ are transmitted to an adjacent normal structure via shared sensory neural pathways at the prespinal, spinal, and supraspinal levels, resulting in functional changes in the adjacent normal structure. In conclusion, since there are few treatments to cure interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome completely, further studies regarding organ cross-sensitization may provide new insights into the pathophysiology and treatment strategies for these diseases.
Alessandro Gentilin, Cantor Tarperi, Kristina Skroce, Antonio Cevese, Federico Schena
Vascular conductance (VC) regulation involves a continuous balance between metabolic vasodilation and sympathetic vasoconstriction. Endurance exercise challenges the sympathetic control on VC due to attenuated sympathetic receptor responsiveness and persistence of muscle vasodilation, especially in endurance athletes, predisposing them to blood pressure control dysfunctions. This study assessed whether acute handgrip-mediated sympathetic activation (SYMP) restrains sudden leg vasodilation before and after a half-marathon. Prior to, and within the 20 min following the race, 11 well-trained runners underwent two single passive leg movement (SPLM) tests to suddenly induce leg vasodilation, one without and the other during SYMP. Leg blood flow and mean arterial pressure were measured to assess changes in leg VC. Undertaking 60 sec of SYMP reduced the baseline leg VC both before (4.0 ± 1.0 vs. 3.3 ± 0.7 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.01; NO SYMP vs. SYMP, respectively) and after the race (4.6 ± 0.8 vs. 3.9 ± 0.8 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.01). However, SYMP did not reduce leg peak vasodilation immediately after the SPLM either before (11.5 ± 4.0 vs. 12.2 ± 3.8 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.35) or after the race (7.2 ± 2.0 vs. 7.3 ± 2.6 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.96). Furthermore, SYMP did not blunt the mean leg vasodilation over the 60 sec after the SPLM before (5.1 ± 1.7 vs. 5.9 ± 2.5 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.14) or after the race (4.8 ± 1.3 vs. 4.2 ± 1.5 ml/min/mmHg; P=0.26). This data suggest that the release of local vasoactive agents effectively opposes any preceding handgrip-mediated augmented vasoconstriction in endurance athletes before and after a half-marathon. Handgrip-mediated SYMP might improve normal vasoconstriction while athletes are still, but not necessarily while they move, as movements can induce a release of vasoactive molecules.
Marek Waluga, Anna Kasicka-Jonderko, Marek Dzielicki, Magdalena Kamińska, Małgorzata Bożek, Joanna Laskowska, Joanna Palka, Daria Jurzak, Joanna Rusek, Krzysztof Jonderko
Exposure to unpleasant tastes leads to disturbances of interdigestive gastric myoelectrical activity (GMA) and may affect sympathetic/parasympathetic balance (SPB). We made a careful study to determine whether taste stimulation modulates the postprandial GMA, SPB, and gastric emptying (GE) of a solid meal. Eighteen healthy volunteers (9F/9M) entered the study. On six separate days, we recorded a four-channel electrogastrogram from each volunteer during a 35-min fasting period, then for 90 min after ingestion of a solid test meal of 300 kcal. GE was measured using a 13C-octanoic acid breath test. Heart rate variability (HRV) analysis was simultaneously performed. At the start of the 21st min after the test meal, subjects received an agar cube delivering either a sweet, salty, sour, or bitter taste, which they kept in the mouth for 35 min. Control procedures involved sessions performed with a tasteless agar cube, and without any stimulation. There was no effect of the experimental intervention upon the relative power share of particular GMA rhythms. Stimulation with the salty and the bitter taste evoked a statistically significant increase in the dominant frequency, whereas the sweet and sour taste did not affect it. Taste stimulation did not interfere with the meal-induced rise in the dominant power, nor affect slow wave coupling. The kinetics of the solid GE remained unchanged by the intervention. None of the taste stimulations affected the postprandial SPB. Taste stimulation elicited after ingestion of a meal, in contrast to that during a fast, did not adversely modify the postprandial pattern of either the GMA or SPB, nor affect the GE of solids.
Background: Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) performs a variety of functions in the body including the modulation of muscle tone in respiratory airways. Several studies indicate a possible role of 5-HT in the pathophysiology of bronchial hyperresponsiveness. However, the receptors and the molecular mechanisms by which 5-HT acts on airway smooth muscle (ASM) continue to be controversial. Most of the evidence suggests the participation of different subtypes of receptors in an indirect response. This study supports the proposal that 5-HT directly contracts ASM and characterizes pharmacologically the subtypes of serotonergic receptors involved. The characterization was carried out by using selective antagonists in an organ bath model allowing study of the smooth muscle of segments of bovine trachea. Results: The results obtained show that 5-HT2A receptors are the main mediators of the direct contractile response of bovine ASM, with the cooperation of the 5-HT7, 5-HT3 and 5-HT1B/D receptors. Also, it was observed that the muscle response to serotonin is developed more slowly and to a lesser extent in comparison with the response to cholinergic stimulation. Conclusion: Overall, the receptors that mediate the direct serotonergic contraction of the smooth muscle of the bovine trachea are 5-HT2A, 5-HT7, 5-HT3 and 5-HT1B/D receptors.
Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs) are major cell types that control vascular function, and hence dysfunction of these cells plays a key role in the development and progression of vasculopathies. Abnormal vascular responsiveness to vasoactive substances including vasoconstrictors and vasodilators has been observed in various arteries in diseases including diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney diseases, and atherosclerosis. Several substances derived from ECs tightly control vascular function, such as endothelium-derived relaxing and contracting factors, and it is known that abnormal vascular signaling of these endothelium-derived substances is often observed in various diseases. Derangement of signaling in VSMCs and altered function influence vascular reactivity to vasoactive substances and tone, which are important determinants of vascular resistance and blood pressure. However, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying abnormalities of vascular functions in pathological states is difficult because multiple substances interact in the development of these processes. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), a heterogeneous group of bioactive compounds, are thought to contribute to vascular dysfunction, which in turn cause the development of several diseases including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and atherosclerosis. A growing body of evidence suggests that AGEs could affect these cells and modulate vascular function. This study is focused on the link between AGEs and functions of ECs and VSMCs, particularly the modulative effects of AGEs on vascular reactivities to vasoactive substances.
Gastric contractions show two specific patterns in many species, migrating motor contractions (MMC) and postprandial contractions (PPCs), that occur in the fasted and fed states, respectively. In this study, we examined the role of somatostatin (SST) in gastric motility both in vivo and in vitro using the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus). We performed in vivo recordings of gastric motility and in vitro organ bath experiments using S. murinus, which was recently established as a small laboratory animal for use in tests of gastrointestinal motility. SST (1.65 µg kg−1 min−1) was intravenously administered during phase II of MMC and PPCs. Next, the effect of SST on motilin-induced gastric contractions at phase I of MMC was measured. Cyclosomatostatin (CSST), an SST receptor antagonist, was administered at the peak of phase III of MMC. In addition, the effect of SST (10−11–10−9 M) on motilin-induced gastric contractions was evaluated using an organ bath experiment in vitro. In conscious, free-moving S. murinus, the administration of SST decreased the occurrence of the spontaneous phase II of MMC and PPCs. Pretreatment with SST and octreotide suppressed the induction of motilin-induced gastric contractions both in vivo and in vitro. Administration of CSST before the peak of spontaneous phase III contractions had no effect on gastric contractions. Endogenous SST is not involved in the regulation of gastric MMC and PPCs, but exogenous SST suppresses spontaneous gastric contractions. Thus, SST would be good for treating abnormal gastrointestinal motility disorders.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is a common symptom in the older people, and may cause fatal complications such as aspiration pneumonia. However, there is no established treatment for OD. The relationship between the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and substance P released by activated TRPV1 was recently demonstrated. Further, there are several reports showing that capsaicin, a specific agonist of TRPV1, can improve OD. Currently, the evaluation of swallowing is mainly performed by videofluoroscopic examination. However, there are no reports on the clinical application of ultrasonography using tissue Doppler imaging. In this review, we describe the pathophysiology and treatments for OD, introduce our novel US method to evaluate cervical esophageal motility, and then outline our clinical study examining the effects of capsaicin, a specific TRPV1 agonist, in older patients with OD.
Blebbistatin, a potent inhibitor of myosin II, is known to suppress smooth muscle contraction without affecting myosin light chain phosphorylation level. In order to clarify the regulatory mechanisms of blebbistatin on phasic and tonic smooth muscles in detail, we examined the effects of blebbistatin on relaxation process by Ca2+ removal after Ca2+-induced contraction of β-escin skinned (cell membrane permeabilized) trachea and taenia cecum preparations from guinea pigs. Blebbistatin significantly suppressed the force during relaxation both in skinned trachea and taenia cecum. The data fitting analysis of the relaxation processes indicates that blebbistatin accelerates slow (latch-like) bridge dissociation.
The c-Kit receptor tyrosine kinase regulates the development and differentiation of several progenitor cells. In the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the c-Kit regulates the development of the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) that are responsible for motility regulation of the GI musculature. W-sash (Wsh) is an inversion mutation upstream of the c-kit promoter region that affects a key regulatory element, resulting in cell-type-specific altered gene expression, leading to a decrease in the number of mast cells, melanocytes, and ICC. We extensively examined the GI tract of Wsh/Wsh mice using immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Although the musculature of the Wsh/Wsh mice did not show any c-Kit immunoreactivity, we detected intensive immunoreactivity for transmembrane member 16A (TMEM16A, anoctamin-1), another ICC marker. TMEM16A immunopositive cells were observed as ICC-MY in the gastric corpus-antrum and the large intestine, ICC-DMP in the small intestine, and ICC-SM in the colon. Electron microscopic analysis revealed these cells as ICC from their ultrastructural features, such as numerous mitochondria and caveolae, and their close contact with nerve terminals. In the developmental period, we examined 14.5 and 18.5 day embryos but did not observe c-Kit immunoreactivity in the Wsh/Wsh small intestine. From this study, ICC subtypes developed and maturated structurally without c-Kit expression. Wsh/Wsh mice are a new model to investigate the effects of c-Kit and unknown signaling on ICC development and function.
Spontaneous rhythmic constrictions known as vasomotion are developed in several microvascular beds in vivo. Vasomotion in arterioles is considered to facilitate blood flow, while venular vasomotion would facilitate tissue metabolite drainage. Mechanisms underlying vasomotion periodically generate synchronous Ca2+ transients in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). In visceral organs, mural cells (pericytes and VSMCs) in arterioles, capillaries and venules exhibit synchronous spontaneous Ca2+ transients. Since sympathetic regulation is rather limited in the intra-organ microvessels, spontaneous activity of mural cells may play an essential role in maintaining tissue perfusion. Synchronous spontaneous Ca2+ transients in precapillary arterioles (PCAs)/capillaries appear to propagate to upstream arterioles to drive their vasomotion, while venules develop their own synchronous Ca2+ transients and associated vasomotion. Spontaneous Ca2+ transients of mural cells primarily arise from IP3 and/or ryanodine receptor-mediated Ca2+ release from sarcoendoplasmic reticulum (SR/ER) Ca2+ stores. The resultant opening of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels (CaCCs) causes a membrane depolarisation that triggers Ca2+ influx via T-type and/or L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCCs). Mural cells are electrically coupled with each other via gap junctions, and thus allow the sequential spread of CaCC or VDCC-dependent depolarisations to develop the synchrony of Ca2+ transients within their network. Importantly, the synchrony of spontaneous Ca2+ transients also requires a certain range of the resting membrane potential that is maintained by the opening of Kv7 voltage-dependent K+ (Kv7) and inward rectifier K+ (Kir) channels. Thus, a depolarised membrane would evoke asynchronous, ‘premature’ spontaneous Ca2+ transients, while a hyperpolarised membrane prevents any spontaneous activity.
Sang Eok Lee, Dae Hoon Kim, Seung Myeung Son, Song-Yi Choi, Ra Young You, Chan Hyung Kim, Woong Choi, Hun Sik Kim, Yung Ji Lim, Ji Young Han, Hyun Woo Kim, In Jun Yang, Wen-Xie Xu, Sang Jin Lee, Young Chul Kim, Hyo-Yung Yun
Gastric motility is controlled by slow waves. In general, the activation of the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels in the smooth muscle opposes the membrane excitability and produces relaxation. Since metabolic inhibition and/or diabetes mellitus are accompanied by dysfunctions of gastric smooth muscle, we examined the possible roles of KATP channels in human gastric motility. We used human gastric corpus and antrum smooth muscle preparations and recorded the mechanical activities with a conventional contractile measuring system. We also identified the subunits of the KATP channels using Western blot. Pinacidil (10 μM), a KATP channel opener, suppressed contractions to 30% (basal tone to −0.2 g) of the control. The inhibitory effect of pinacidil on contraction was reversed to 59% of the control by glibenclamide (20 μM), a KATP channel blocker. The relaxation by pinacidil was not affected by a pretreatment with L-arginine methyl ester, tetraethylammonium, or 4-aminopyridine. Pinacidil also inhibited the acetylcholine (ACh)-induced tonic and phasic contractions in a glibenclamide-sensitive manner (42% and 6% of the control, respectively). Other KATP channel openers such as diazoxide, cromakalim and nicorandil also inhibited the spontaneous and ACh-induced contractions. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a gastric neuropeptide, induced muscle relaxation by the activation of KATP channels in human gastric smooth muscle. Finally, we have found with Western blot studies, that human gastric smooth muscle expressed KATP channels which were composed of Kir 6.2 and SUR2B subunits.
Rubratoxin A, a potent inhibitor of PP2A, is known to suppress smooth muscle contraction. The inhibitory role of PP2A in smooth muscle contraction is still unclear. In order to clarify the regulatory mechanisms of PP2A on vascular smooth muscle contractility, we examined the effects of rubratoxin A on the Ca2+-induced contraction of β-escin skinned carotid artery preparations from guinea pigs. Rubratoxin A at 1 µM and 10 µM significantly inhibited skinned carotid artery contraction at any Ca2+ concentration. The data fitting to the Hill equation in [Ca2+]-contraction relationship indicated that rubratoxin A decreased Fmax-Ca2+ and increased [Ca2+]50, indices of Ca2+ sensitivity for the force and myosin-actin interaction, respectively. These results suggest that PP2A inhibition causes downregulation of the myosin light chain phosphorylation and direct interference with myosin-actin interaction.
Prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), one of the key lipid mediators of allergic airway inflammation, is increased in the airways of asthmatics. However, the role of PGD2 in the pathogenesis of asthma is not fully understood. In the present study, effects of PGD2 on smooth muscle contractility of the airways were determined to elucidate its role in the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). In a murine model of allergic asthma, antigen challenge to the sensitized animals caused a sustained increase in PGD2 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids, indicating that smooth muscle cells of the airways are continually exposed to PGD2 after the antigen exposure. In bronchial smooth muscles (BSMs) isolated from naive mice, a prolonged incubation with PGD2 (10−5 M, for 24 h) induced an augmentation of contraction induced by acetylcholine (ACh): the ACh concentration-response curve was significantly shifted upward by the 24-h incubation with PGD2. Application of PGD2 caused phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and p38 in cultured BSM cells: both of the PGD2-induced events were abolished by laropiprant (a DP1 receptor antagonist) but not by fevipiprant (a DP2 receptor antagonist). In addition, the BSM hyperresponsiveness to ACh induced by the 24-h incubation with PGD2 was significantly inhibited by co-incubation with SB203580 (a p38 inhibitor), whereas U0126 (a ERK1/2 inhibitor) had no effect on it. These findings suggest that prolonged exposure to PGD2 causes the BSM hyperresponsiveness via the DP1 receptor-mediated activation of p38. A sustained increase in PGD2 in the airways might be a cause of the AHR in allergic asthmatics.
All the cells of rat detrusor muscle fall into one of five ultrastructural types: muscle cells, fibroblasts, axons and glia, and vascular cells (endothelial cells and pericytes). The tissue is ~79% cellular and 21% non-cellular. Muscle cells occupy 72%, nerves ~4% (1/3 axons, 2/3 glia), and fibroblast >3% of space. Muscle cells (up to 6 µm across and ~600 µm long, packed to almost 100,000 per mm2) have surface-to-volume ratio of 2.4 µm2/µm3 ~93% of cell volume is contractile apparatus, 3.1% mitochondria and 2.5% nucleus. Cell profiles are irregular but sectional area decreases regularly towards either end of the cell. Muscle cells are gathered into bundles (the mechanical units of detrusor), variable in length and size, but of constant width. The musculature is highly compact (without fascia or capsule) with smooth outer surfaces and extensive association and adhesion between its cells. Among many types of intercellular contact and junction, digitations are very common, each muscle cell issuing minute finger-like processes that abut on adjacent cells. Sealed apposition are wide areas of specialized contact, possibly forming a chamber between two muscle cells, distinct from the extracellular space at large (stromal space). The innervation is very dense, virtually all intramuscular axons being varicose (including afferent ones). There are identifiable neuro-muscular junctions on each muscle cell, often several junctions on a single cell. There are also unattached terminals. Fibroblasts (involved in the production of collagen), ~1% of the total number of cells, do not make specialized contacts.
Shunsuke Hyuga, Jennifer Danielsson, Joy Vink, Xiao Wen Fu, Ronald Wapner, George Gallos
Background: Pre-term birth is a major health care challenge throughout the world, and preterm labor represents a potentially reversible component of this problem. Current tocolytics do not improve preterm labor beyond 48 h. We have previously shown that anoctamin 1 (ANO1) channel blockade results in relaxation of pre-contracted human uterine smooth muscle (USM). Three drug classes with reported medicinal effects in humans also have members with ANO1 antagonism. In this study, we compared the ability of representatives from these 3 classes to reduce human USM contractility and excitability. Objective: This study sought to examine the comparative potency of 3 ANO1 antagonists on pregnant human USM relaxation, contraction frequency reduction, inhibition of intracellular calcium release and membrane hyperpolarization. Methods: Experiments were performed using: 1) Ex vivo organ bath (human pregnant tissue), 2) Oxytocin-induced calcium flux (in vitro human USM cells) and 3) Membrane potential assay (in vitro human USM cells). Results: Benzbromarone (BB) demonstrated the greatest potency among the compounds tested with respect to force, frequency inhibition, reducing calcium elevation and depolarizing membrane potential. Conclusion: While all 3 ANO1 antagonists attenuate pregnant human uterine tissue contractility and excitability, BB is the most potent tocolytic drug. Our findings may serve as a foundation for future structure-function analyses for novel tocolytic drug development.