Endothelial ATP-sensitive potassium channels mediate coronary microvascular dilation to hyperosmolarity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Coronary arterial occlusion has been shown to increase osmolarity in the myocardial interstitium. Intracoronary injection of hyperosmolar solutions reduces coronary vascular resistance. However, the response of coronary microvessels to an abluminal increase in osmolarity is unclear, and the underlying mechanism for its vasomotor regulation has not been elucidated. In this regard, porcine coronary arterioles (81 +/- 2 microns) were isolated, cannulated, and pressurized for in vitro study. Hyperosmolarity (300-345 mosM) was produced by adding D-glucose or D-sucrose to the extravascular solution. After the arterioles developed a stable vascular tone, a graded vasodilation was observed when glucose or sucrose was incrementally administered. This hyperosmotic vasodilation was abolished after endothelial removal. Intraluminal administration of KCl (80 mM) or the ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP)-channel inhibitor glibenclamide (1 microM) to the intact vessels significantly attenuated the hyperosmotic vasodilation. Inhibition of inward rectifier potassium channels by a low concentration of BaCl2 (10 microM) did not affect vasodilation. However, a high concentration of BaCl2 (100 microM), which has been reported to inhibit KATP channels, attenuated the hyperosmotic vasodilation. Iberiotoxin (100 nM), a calcium-activated potassium (KCa)-channel inhibitor had no effect on hyperosmolarity-induced vasodilation. Inhibition of the synthesis of endothelial nitric oxide, prostaglandins, and arachidonic acid metabolites from cytochrome P-450 had no effect on hyperosmotic vasodilation. Furthermore, inhibition of vascular smooth muscle KATP channels and the large- and small-conductance KCa channels by extraluminal administration of glibenclamide, iberiotoxin, and apamin, respectively, did not alter vasodilation in response to hyperosmolarity. These results indicate that dilation of coronary arterioles in response to hyperosmotic stimulation requires an intact endothelium. However, the response is independent of the release of nitric oxide, prostaglandins, or cytochrome P-450-related endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor and is not a result of activation of KATP and KCa channels in vascular smooth muscle. It is suggested that the opening of KATP channels in vascular endothelium and subsequent hyperpolarization of that cell type mediate coronary microvascular dilation in response to hyperosmolarity.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Ishizaka, H., & Kuo, L.

citation count

  • 65

complete list of authors

  • Ishizaka, H||Kuo, L

publication date

  • July 1997