We have recently shown that endomorphin 1, an endogenous ligand for the μ-opioid receptor, and nociceptin (Orphanin FQ; OFQ), an endogenous ligand for the ORL1 receptor, have substantial vasodilator activity in the hindquarters vascular bed of the rat. In the present study, the role of nitric oxide, vasodilator prostaglandins, and the opening of K(+ATP) channels in mediating vasodilator responses to endomorphin 1, PL017, and DAMGO was investigated in the regional vascular bed in the rat. Under constant-flow conditions, injections of the μ-selective agonists endomorphin 1, PL017 ([N- MePhe3 D-Pro4]-morphiceptin), and DAMGO, and the ORL1 receptor agonist nociceptin/OFQ produced dose-dependent decreases in hindquarters perfusion pressure. Vasodilator responses to endomorphin 1, PL017, and DAMGO, and the endothelium-dependent vasodilators acetylcholine and adrenomedullin were attenuated by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME (50 mg/kg IV) at a time when vasodilator responses to nociceptin/OFQ were not altered. Vasodilator responses to isoproterenol and prostaglandin E1, agents known to increase cAMP levels, and the nitric oxide donor DEA/NO were not altered by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor. Responses to endomorphin 1, PL017, DAMGO, and nociceptin/OFQ were not altered by sodium meclofenamate at a time when vasodilator responses to arachidonic acid were reduced significantly or after administration of U-37883A at a time when vasodilator responses to levcromakalim were reduced significantly. The results of these studies indicate that responses to endomorphin 1, PL017, and DAMGO are mediated in large part by the release of nitric oxide, while responses to nociceptin/OFQ are mediated by an L-NAME-insensitive mechanism. Moreover, these results demonstrate that responses to these peptides are not mediated by the release of vasodilator prostaglandins or the opening of K(+ATP) channels the hindquarters vascular bed.
- Endomorphin 1
- Endothelium-dependent Vasodilator
- Hindquarters vascular bed
- Nitric oxide-dependent vasodilator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience