Myogenic vasoconstriction is an autoregulatory function of small arteries. Recently, G-protein-coupled receptors have been involved in myogenic vasoconstriction, but the downstream signalling mechanisms and the in-vivo-function of this myogenic autoregulation are poorly understood. Here, we show that small arteries from mice with smooth muscle-specific loss of G12/G13 or the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor ARHGEF12 have lost myogenic vasoconstriction. This defect was accompanied by loss of RhoA activation, while vessels showed normal increases in intracellular [Ca2+]. In the absence of myogenic vasoconstriction, perfusion of peripheral organs was increased, systemic vascular resistance was reduced and cardiac output and left ventricular mass were increased. In addition, animals with defective myogenic vasoconstriction showed aggravated hypotension in response to endotoxin. We conclude that G12/G13- and Rho-mediated signaling plays a key role in myogenic vasoconstriction and that myogenic tone is required to maintain local and systemic vascular resistance under physiological and pathological condition.
Keywords: G-protein; Rho/Rho-kinase; cell biology; human biology; medicine; mouse; myogenic tone; myogenic vasoconstriction; signal transduction; vascular smooth muscle.
© 2019, Chennupati et al.