Coronary arteriolar dilation to acidosis: role of ATP-sensitive potassium channels and pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: We previously demonstrated that coronary arteriolar dilation in response to acidosis is mediated by the opening of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. However, the signal transduction involved in the KATP-channel activation during acidosis has not been elucidated. A recent study in cardiac myocytes implied that pertussis toxin (PTX)-sensitive G proteins may be involved in the signal transduction for KATP-channel activation. However, it remains unclear whether this transduction process also occurs in the vascular tissue and, in particular, whether it exerts functional dilation in response to acidosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: To examine the signaling pathway for acidosis-induced dilation, porcine coronary arterioles were isolated, cannulated, and pressurized for in vitro study. The GTPase activity in reconstituted G proteins was examined at different levels of pH. Extravascular acidosis (pH 7.3 to 7.0) produced a graded dilation of coronary arterioles. This dilation was not affected by removal of endothelium but was significantly attenuated after inhibition of KATP channels and G proteins by glibenclamide and PTX, respectively. Glibenclamide and PTX attenuated the acidosis-induced arteriolar dilation to the same extent, and combined administration of both inhibitors did not further inhibit the vasodilation. These results indicated that both inhibitors act on the same vasodilatory pathway. Furthermore, vasodilation of coronary arterioles to the KATP-channel opener pinacidil and to the endothelium-independent vasodilator sodium nitroprusside was not affected by PTX. Because PTX inhibited acidosis-induced vasodilation without inhibiting KATP-channel function, it is suggested that PTX inhibits the vasodilatory pathway upstream from KATP channels. GTPase activity in reconstituted G proteins was significantly enhanced by a reduction in pH, indicating that G proteins were directly activated by acidosis. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of these findings, we conclude that acidosis-induced coronary arteriolar dilation is mediated by the opening of smooth muscle KATP channels through the activation of PTX-sensitive G proteins.

published proceedings

  • Circulation

author list (cited authors)

  • Ishizaka, H., Gudi, S. R., Frangos, J. A., & Kuo, L.

citation count

  • 55

complete list of authors

  • Ishizaka, H||Gudi, SR||Frangos, JA||Kuo, L

publication date

  • January 1999