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ATP, norepinephrine and NPY are co-released by sympathetic nerves innervating arteries. ATP elicits vasoconstriction via activation of smooth muscle P2X receptors. The functional interaction between neuropeptide Y (NPY) and P2X receptors in arteries is not known. In this study we investigate the effect of NPY on P2X1-dependent vasoconstriction in mouse mesenteric arteries. Suramin or P2X1 antagonist NF449 abolished α,β-meATP evoked vasoconstrictions. NPY lacked any direct vasoconstrictor effect but facilitated the vasoconstrictive response to α,β-meATP. Mesenteric arteries expressed Y1 and Y4 receptors, but not Y2 or Y5. Y1 receptor inhibition (BIBO3304) reversed NPY facilitation of the α,β-meATP-evoked vasoconstriction. L-type Ca2+ channel antagonism (nifedipine) had no effect on α,β-meATP-evoked vasoconstrictions, but completely reversed NPY facilitation. Electrical field stimulation evoked sympathetic neurogenic vasoconstriction. Neurogenic responses were dependent upon dual α1-adrenergic (prazosin) and P2X1 (NF449) receptor activation. Y1 receptor antagonism partially reduced neurogenic vasoconstriction. Isolation of the P2X1 component by α1-adrenergic blockade allowed faciliatory effects of Y1 receptor activation to be explored. Y1 receptor antagonism reduced the P2X1 receptor component during neurogenic vasoconstriction. α1-adrenergic and P2X1 receptors are post-junctional receptors during sympathetic neurogenic vasoconstriction in mesenteric arteries. In conclusion, we have identified that NPY lacks a direct vasoconstrictor effect in mesenteric arteries but can facilitate vasoconstriction by enhancing the activity of P2X1, following activation by exogenous agonists or during sympathetic nerve stimulation. The mechanism of P2X1 facilitation by NPY involved activation of the NPY Y1 receptor and the L-type Ca2+ channel.
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