Regulatory effect of Rac1 on vascular reactivity after hemorrhagic shock in rats

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2011 Jun;57(6):656-65. doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e318215e21d.


We used isolated superior mesenteric arteries (SMAs) from hemorrhagic-shock rats and hypoxia-treated vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs; mimicking the shock state) to observe the effects of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF; Rac1 stimulator) and NSC23766 (Rac1 antagonist) on vascular reactivity and the relationship with the Rho kinase-myosin light-chain phosphatase (MLCP) and p21-activated kinase (PAK)-myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK) signal pathway. The results indicated that the contractile responses of the SMAs and VSMCs were significantly increased at early shock or after transient hypoxia. NSC23766 (Rac1 antagonist) further increased, whereas PDGF (Rac1 stimulator) decreased the contractile responses of SMAs and VSMCs. In the late period of shock or prolonged hypoxia, the contractile responses of SMAs and VSMCs were significantly decreased; NSC23766 increased (whereas PDGF further decreased) the contractile response of the SMAs and VSMCs. Activation of Rac1 with PDGF significantly increased the activity of PAK and MLCP, and decreased Rho kinase and MLCK activity and 20-kDa myosin light-chain phosphorylation in VSMCs. The PAK inhibitor PAK-18 significantly antagonized the PDGF-induced decrease in MLCK activity, whereas the Rho kinase antagonist Y-27632 further enforced the PDGF-induced increase in MLCP activity. Simple fluid resuscitation did not improve but in combination with NSC23766 significantly improved vascular reactivity and animal survival at 24 hours. This suggested that Rac1 has an inhibitory effect on vasoreactivity after shock. Rac1-mediated regulation of vascular reactivity is mainly through activation of PAK, inhibition of MLCK and inhibition of Rho kinase, unpack the inhibition of Rho kinase to MLCP. Rac1 may be a potential target to treat vascular hyporeactivity in many critical conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminoquinolines / pharmacology
  • Aminoquinolines / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / drug effects
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / metabolism
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / physiopathology*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / drug effects
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / drug therapy
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / physiopathology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects
  • p21-Activated Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • p21-Activated Kinases / metabolism
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / agonists
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / antagonists & inhibitors
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein / physiology*
  • rho-Associated Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • rho-Associated Kinases / metabolism


  • Aminoquinolines
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • NSC 23766
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Pyrimidines
  • p21-Activated Kinases
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase
  • Rac1 protein, rat
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein