Calcium lonophore and Acetylcholine Dilate Arterioles on the Mouse Brain by Different Mechanisms

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Pial arterioles on the surface of the mouse brain were observed in vivo under a chamber with a glass window. When placed under the window, calcium ionophore, acetylcholine, and previously acidified sodium nitrite each dilated the arterioles. If the cyclooxygenase inhibitors indomethacin or acetylsalicylic acid were first placed in the chamber, subsequent dilation of the arterioles by calcium ionophore was reduced to essentially zero. Similar blockade of cyclooxygenase failed to significantly reduce dilation by acetylcholine or sodium nitrite. We have previously shown that dilations by calcium ionophore and acetylcholine were endothelium dependent. Our present experiments show that the endothelium-dependent mechanism for dilation by calcium ionophore is cyclooxygenase dependent, while that for acetylcholine is not. This implies that, in pial arterioles, the endothelium-derived relaxing factor for acetylcholine differs from that for calcium ionophore. This agrees with data from other microvascular beds. (Stroke 1989;20:1391–1395)

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