We investigated superior mesenteric arteries from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) to determine the relaxation responses induced by ATP, ADP, and adenosine and the relationship between the relaxant effects of these compounds and nitric oxide (NO) or cyclooxygenase (COX)-derived prostanoids. In rat superior mesenteric artery, relaxation induced by ATP and ADP but not by adenosine was completely eliminated by endothelial denudation. In the superior mesenteric arteries isolated from SHR [vs. age-matched control Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY)], a) ATP- and ADP-induced relaxations were weaker, whereas adenosine-induced relaxation was similar in both groups, b) ATP- and ADP-induced relaxations were substantially and partly reduced by NG-nitro-L-arginine [a NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor], respectively, c) indomethacin, an inhibitor of COX, increased ATP- and ADP-induced relaxations, d) ADP-induced relaxation was weaker under combined inhibition by NOS and COX, and e) adenosine-induced relaxation was not altered by treatment with these inhibitors. These data indicate that levels of responsiveness to these nucleotides/adenosine vary in the superior mesenteric arteries from SHR and WKY and are differentially modulated by NO and COX-derived prostanoids.
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