Reactive oxygen-mediated contraction in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle: cellular mechanisms

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1991 Mar;69(3):383-8. doi: 10.1139/y91-058.


Reactive oxygen species (at least relatively high doses) cause contraction of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the possible cellular mechanisms involved in reactive oxygen-mediated contraction. Isolated arterial rings from Sprague-Dawley rats were placed in tissue baths containing Earle's balanced salt solution. The maximum active force production (Po) in response to 80 mM KCl was obtained. All other responses were normalized as percentages of Po for comparative purposes. Exposure to reactive oxygen (generated from either the xanthine oxidase reaction (XO) or the glucose oxidase reaction) resulted in pulmonary arterial muscle developing mean active tension of 17.1 +/- 3.0% Po. This contraction was independent of extracellular calcium, since it was not affected by verapamil (a calcium channel blocker) or by placement of the arterial muscle in calcium-free media. Phentolamine (an alpha 1-receptor blocker) and propranolol (a beta-receptor blocker) did not diminish the response to XO. Ryanodine (a SR calcium release inhibitor), while reducing the response to norepinephrine, did not affect the response to XO. However, H-7 (an inhibitor of protein kinase C) decreased the XO-mediated contraction by 49%. These results indicate that while Ca2+ may not be involved as a second messenger, protein kinase C activity appears to play a role in the transduction pathway of reactive oxygen species mediated contraction of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Isoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / physiology*
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Phentolamine / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Pulmonary Artery / cytology
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology
  • Verapamil / pharmacology
  • Xanthine Oxidase / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Adrenergic alpha-Antagonists
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Isoquinolines
  • Piperazines
  • 1-(5-Isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-Methylpiperazine
  • Propranolol
  • Verapamil
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate
  • Oxygen
  • Norepinephrine
  • Phentolamine