Maturation depresses cGMP-mediated decreases in [Ca2+]i and Ca2+ sensitivity in ovine cranial arteries

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2001 Mar;280(3):H1019-28. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.2001.280.3.H1019.


Because cerebrovascular cGMP levels vary significantly during maturation, we examined the hypothesis that the ability of cGMP to relax cerebral arteries also changes during maturation. In concentration-response experiments, potassium-induced tone in basilar arteries was significantly more sensitive to a nonmetabolizable cell-permeant cGMP analogue 8-(p-chlorophenylthio)-cGMP (8-pCPT-cGMP) in term fetal [-log one-half maximal concentration (EC(50)) = 4.4 +/- 0.1 M] than in adult (-log EC(50) = 4.0 +/- 0.1 M) ovine basilar arteries. Serotonin-induced tone also revealed significantly greater sensitivity to the cGMP analogue in fetal (-log EC(50) = 4.9 +/- 0.1 M) than in adult (-log EC(50) = 4.7 +/- 0.1 M) basilars. In fura 2-loaded preparations, 8-pCPT-cGMP had no significant effect on cytosolic calcium concentrations in potassium-contracted arteries but at 6 microM significantly reduced calcium only in fetal basilars (Delta = 33 +/- 8%). Higher 8-pCPT-cGMP concentrations reduced cytosolic calcium in both fetal and adult basilars. Similarly, in both potassium- and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-contracted preparations, low concentrations of 8-pCPT-cGMP reduced myofilament calcium sensitivity only in fetal basilars (Delta = 29 +/- 6 and Delta = 42 +/- 10%, respectively), whereas higher concentrations reduced calcium sensitivity in both fetal and adult arteries. In beta-escin-permeabilized arteries, equivalent reductions in basal and agonist-enhanced myofilament calcium sensitivity were produced by much lower 8-pCPT-cGMP concentrations in fetal (172 and 61 microM, respectively) than in adult (410 and 231 microM, respectively) basilars. The mechanisms mediating cGMP-induced vasorelaxation appear similar in fetal and adult arteries, with the exception that they are much more sensitive to cGMP in fetal than adult arteries. These age-related differences in the sensitivity of cytosolic calcium concentration, basal, and agonist-enhanced myofilament calcium sensitivity to cGMP can easily explain why both potassium- and 5-HT-induced tone are more sensitive to cGMP in fetal than adult cerebral arteries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cerebral Arteries / metabolism*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Cyclic GMP / analogs & derivatives
  • Cyclic GMP / pharmacology*
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fura-2
  • Guanosine 5'-O-(3-Thiotriphosphate) / pharmacology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Sheep
  • Thionucleotides / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilation / physiology*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Thionucleotides
  • Guanosine 5'-O-(3-Thiotriphosphate)
  • 8-((4-chlorophenyl)thio)cyclic-3',5'-GMP
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2