Endothelium-dependent, flow-induced dilation of isolated coronary arterioles Academic Article uri icon


  • Flow-mediated dilation has been documented in large conduit coronary arteries but not in coronary arterioles. The goal of this study was to determine whether this response occurs in coronary arterioles and whether it competes with myogenic constriction. Subepicardial arterioles (40-80 microns) were isolated and cannulated with two glass micropipettes connected to independent reservoir systems. During zero flow, myogenic responses were studied over the range of intraluminal pressure (IP) between 20 and 140 cmH2O. Myogenic constrictions and dilations was observed when IP was increased (greater than 60 cmH2O) and decreased (less than 60 cmH2O), respectively. Flow was initiated by simultaneously moving the reservoirs in equal and opposite directions, thus generating a pressure gradient (delta P) without changing the mean luminal pressure (range delta P = 4-60 cmH2O). Flow-induced responses were studied at low, intermediate, and high myogenic tones by setting IP at 20, 60, and 100 cmH2O, respectively. The threshold for flow-induced dilation was delta P = 4 cmH2O, and maximum dilation was observed at delta P = 20 cmH2O. Red cell velocities in isolated arterioles at delta P of 4 and 60 cmH2O were 1.2 +/- 0.2 and 15.9 +/- 1.3 mm/s, respectively, which are within the range of those reported for coronary microvessels in vivo. The magnitude of the flow-induced dilation was greatest at the intermediate tone (60 cmH2O IP) but was attenuated at lower and higher IP. After mechanical removal of the endothelium, spontaneous tone and myogenic responses were preserved, but flow-induced dilation and bradykinin-induced dilation were abolished.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 375

publication date

  • October 1990