Endothelium-dependent responses of cerebral arterioles to adenosine 5'-diphosphate

J Vasc Res. Sep-Oct 1992;29(5):353-8. doi: 10.1159/000158951.


The goal of this study was to determine the role of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) in dilatation of cerebral arterioles in response to adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP). Using intravital microscopy, we measured the diameters of pial arterioles in vivo in rats during superfusion with ADP, acetylcholine and nitroglycerin before and during topical application of inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis (NG-monomethyl-L-arginine; L-NMMA and NW-nitro-L-arginine; L-NNA). Prior to suffusion with L-NMMA and L-NNA, ADP (10 and 100 microM), acetylcholine (0.1 and 1.0 microM), and nitroglycerin (1.0 and 10 microM) produced dose-related increases in the diameter of pial arterioles. Following application of L-NMMA (1.0 and 10 microM) and L-NNA (0.1 and 1.0 microM), dilatation of cerebral arterioles in response to ADP was significantly inhibited. In addition, L-NMMA and L-NNA significantly inhibited dilatation of cerebral arterioles in response to acetylcholine, but did not alter vasodilatation in response to nitroglycerin. Thus, our findings suggest that ADP dilates cerebral arterioles via the production of nitric oxide, or a nitric-oxide-containing compound.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Arterioles / physiology
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Male
  • Nitroglycerin / pharmacology
  • Pia Mater / blood supply*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Acetylcholine