Arterial smooth muscle responses in adult and moderately aged spontaneously hypertensive rats

Heikki Wuorela, Pertti Arvola, Mika Kähönen, Heikki Vapaatalo, Ilkka Pörsti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In order to further clarify differences between spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats as well as the effects of ageing, vascular smooth muscle responses of mesenteric arterial rings and intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) in platelets and lymphocytes were studied in 20-week-old and 32-week-old animals. Arterial contractile responses induced by noradrenaline and potassium chloride were comparable in 20-week-old SHR and WKY rats, whereas at 32 weeks of age maximal contractile force generation to both of these agents was clearly lower in SHR. In both age groups the calcium entry blocker nifedipine was more effective in inhibiting potassium chloride-evoked responses in SHR than in WKY rats, and arterial relaxation responses by endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine) and endothelium-independent (nitroprusside, isoprenaline) mechanisms were more pronounced in WKY rats when compared with SHR. The ability of vascular smooth muscle cells to sequester calcium was evaluated by first depleting cellular calcium stores with maximal contractions to noradrenaline in calcium-free buffer, whereafter calcium was returned to the organ bath. After a 10 min. calcium loading period the arterial rings were rechallenged with noradrenaline. Both in 20-week-old and 32-week-old rats these responses were less marked in SHR than in WKY rats, suggesting reduced ability of smooth muscle cells to sequester calcium. In addition, platelets and lymphocytes were used as cell models to examine [Ca2+]i in the experimental groups by the fluorescent indicator quin-2. In these two cell types [Ca2+]i was higher in SHR than in WKY rats in both of the age groups studied.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalBasic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Aging/physiology
  • Aminoquinolines
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets/metabolism
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular/physiology
  • Hypertension/physiopathology
  • Lymphocytes/metabolism
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries
  • Muscle Contraction/drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/drug effects
  • Nifedipine/pharmacology
  • Norepinephrine/pharmacology
  • Potassium/pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY


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