1. Coronary flow elevation from enhanced perfusion pulsatility is synergistically amplified I,v adenosine. This study determined the specificity of this interaction and its potential mechanisms. 2. Mean and phasic coronary flow responses to increasing pulsatile perfusion were assessed in anaesthetized dogs, with the anterior descending coronary artery servoperfused to regulate real-time physiological flow pulsatility at constant mean pressure. Pulsatility was varied between 40 and 100 mmHg. Hearts ejected into the native aorta whilst maintaining stable loading. 3. Increasing pulsatility elevated mean coronary flow +11.5 ± 1.7% under basal conditions, Go-infusion of adenosine sufficient to raise baseline flow 66% markedly amplified this pulsatile perfusion response (+82.6 ± 14.3% increase in mean flow above adenosine baseline), due to a leftward shift of the adenosine-coronary flow response curve at higher pulsatility. Flow augmentation with pulsatility was not linked to higher regional oxygen consumption, supporting direct rather than metabolically driven mechanisms. 4. Neither bradykinin, acetylcholine nor verapamil reproduced the synergistic amplification of mean flow by adenosine and higher pulsatility, despite being administered at doses matching basal flow change with adenosine. 5. ATP-sensitive potassium channel (K(ATP)) activation (pinacidil) amplified the pulse-flow response 3-fold, although this remained significantly less than with adenosine. Co-administration of the phospholipase A2 inhibitor quinacrine virtually eliminated adenosine-induced vasodilatation, yet synergistic interaction between adenosine and pulse perfusion persisted, albeit at a reduced level. 6. Thus, adenosine and perfusion pulsatility specifically interact to enhance coronary flow. This synergy is partially explained by K(ATP) agonist action and additional non-flow-dependent mechanisms, and may be important for modulating flow reserve during exercise or other high output states where increased flow demand and higher perfusion pulsatility typically co-exist.
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