Myogenic activity in isolated subepicardial and subendocardial coronary arterioles. Academic Article uri icon


  • The goal of this study was to examine myogenic responses of isolated porcine subepicardial and subendocardial arterioles (80-100 micron in diameter) within physiological ranges of intraluminal pressure. Arterioles were located by perfusion with india ink-gelatin solution then dissected and cannulated with glass micropipettes. Intraluminal pressure was altered in 20-cmH2O steps over the range of 20-140 cmH2O. IN physiological salt solution (36-37 degrees C), the coronary arterioles developed spontaneous tone and exhibited myogenic responses. At the lower pressures (20-60 cmH2O), subendocardial arterioles responded passively (diameter decreased from a control diameter at 60 cmH2O), whereas subepicardial arterioles maintained their diameters. At higher pressures (100-140 cmH2O), both subepicardial and subendocardial arterioles demonstrated myogenic constriction, but subepicardial arterioles demonstrated greater myogenic constriction than subendocardial arterioles. This implies that myogenic autoregulation in subepicardial arterioles is better than that in the subendocardial arterioles at both low and high pressures. In the presence of nitroprusside (10(-4) M), all arterioles responded to pressure changes passively, and there were no differences between subepicardial and subendocardial vessels. The functional integrity of the endothelium was verified by relaxation to substance P (10(-7) M). This is the first in vitro study to demonstrate coronary myogenic activity and transmural differences in these arteriolar responses. Our data support the concept that myogenic mechanisms in 80 to 100-micron arterioles may actively contribute to autoregulation of coronary blood flow.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Kuo, L., Davis, M. J., & Chilian, W. M.

citation count

  • 197

complete list of authors

  • Kuo, L||Davis, MJ||Chilian, WM

publication date

  • December 1988