We have used mixed- and co-cultures of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells to investigate the role of phospholipase activation and arachidonic acid metabolites in the production of endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). Inhibition of phospholipase A2 with para-bromophenacyl bromide, dexamethasone or quinacrine, alone or in combination, blocked arachidonate release by 50%-60% but had no effect on EDRF production as assessed by cyclic GMP accumulation in mixed- or co-cultures of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. Inhibition of the phospholipase C-diacylglycerol (DAG) lipase pathway of arachidonate release by the DAG lipase inhibitor RHC-80267 also caused partial inhibition of arachidonate release and had no effect on EDRF. When both phospholipase A2 and phospholipase C pathways for arachidonate mobilization were inhibited (dexamethasone + RHC 80267), arachidonate release was totally inhibited while EDRF release remained intact. We conclude that neither phospholipase activation nor arachidonate mobilization is required for EDRF release from cultured bovine endothelial cells.
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