Prostacyclin releases endothelium‐derived relaxing factor and potentiates its action in coronary arteries of the pig

Hiroaki Shimokawa, Nicholas A. Flavahan, Robert R. Lorenz, Paul M. Vanhoutte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The possible interactions between prostacyclin and endothelium‐derived relaxing factor were examined, in isolated coronary arteries of the pig treated with indomethacin (10−5 m). In organ chamber experiments, prostacyclin caused relaxations, which were potentiated in the presence of the endothelium; the potentiation was abolished by oxyhaemoglobin. In bioassay experiments, prostacyclin caused minimal relaxations of bioassay rings without endothelium; these relaxations were potentiated when the bioassay ring was exposed to basally‐released endothelium‐derived relaxing factor (interaction between prostacyclin and basal endothelium‐derived relaxing factor) and further augmented when the endothelial cells were exposed to the prostanoid (stimulated release of endothelium‐derived relaxing factor). The endothelium‐dependent, but not the direct effects of prostacyclin were augmented by superoxide dismutase plus catalase and abolished by oxyhaemoglobin. Forskolin, a direct activator of adenylate cyclase, caused relaxations of rings without endothelium, which were augmented by the presence of the endothelium. The relaxations induced by prostacyclin or forskolin also had an endothelium‐dependent component in basilar and femoral arteries and in jugular veins of the pig. The endothelium‐dependent actions of prostacyclin probably reflect activation of adenylate cyclase. 1988 British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1203
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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