Activation of Large Conductance, Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels by Nitric Oxide Mediates Apelin-Induced Relaxation of Isolated Rat Coronary Arteries.

Author(s) Mughal, A.; Sun, C.; O'Rourke, S.T.
Journal J Pharmacol Exp Ther
Date Published 2018 Aug

Apelin increases coronary blood flow, cardiac contractility, and cardiac output. Based on these favorable hemodynamic effects, apelin and apelin-like analogs are being developed for treating heart failure and related disorders; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying apelin-induced coronary vasodilation are unknown. This study aimed to elucidate the signaling pathways by which apelin causes smooth muscle relaxation in coronary arteries. Receptors for apelin (APJ receptors) were expressed in coronary arteries, as determined by Western blot and polymerase chain reaction analyses. Immunofluorescence imaging studies identified APJ receptors on endothelial and smooth muscle cells. In isolated endothelial cells, apelin caused an increase in 4,5-diaminofluorescein fluorescence that was abolished by nitro-l-arginine (NLA) and F13A (H-Gln-Arg-Pro-Arg-Leu-Ser-His-Lys-Gly-Pro-Met-Pro-Ala-OH), an APJ receptor antagonist, consistent with increased nitric oxide (NO) production. In arterial rings, apelin caused endothelium-dependent relaxations that were abolished by NLA, F13A, and iberiotoxin. Neither oxadiazolo[4,3-]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) nor DT-2, a protein kinase G inhibitor, had any effect on apelin-induced relaxations, and apelin itself had no effect on intracellular cGMP accumulation in coronary arteries. Patch-clamp studies in isolated smooth muscle cells demonstrated that the NO donors, diethyl amine NONOate and sodium nitroprusside, caused increases in large conductance, calcium-activated potassium channel (BK) currents, which were inhibited by iberiotoxin but not ODQ. Thus, apelin causes endothelium-dependent relaxation of coronary arteries by stimulating endothelial APJ receptors and releasing NO, which acts in a cGMP-independent manner and increases BK activity in the underlying smooth muscle cells. These results provide a mechanistic basis for apelin-induced coronary vasodilation and may provide guidance for the future development of novel apelin-like therapeutic agents.

DOI 10.1124/jpet.118.248682
ISSN 1521-0103
Citation J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2018;366(2):265273.

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