Functional contribution of the endothelial component to the vasorelaxing effect of resveratrol and NS 1619, activators of the large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels

  • Vincenzo CalderoneEmail author
  • Alma Martelli
  • Lara Testai
  • Enrica Martinotti
  • Maria C. Breschi
Original Article


Large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (BK) of smooth muscle play a role in the relevant modulation of vascular tone, due to their calcium- and voltage-dependent mechanisms of activation. A potential role of endothelial BK channels has also been suggested by approaches on endothelial cell cultures. However, no functional study, aimed at evaluating the contribution of endothelial BK channels to the effect of BK-openers, has been reported. Resveratrol and NS 1619, BK-openers, have been tested on endothelium-intact and -denuded aortic rings. Furthermore, the effects of high depolarisation of potassium channel blockers TEA (Tetraethylammonium), 4-AP ( 4-Aminopyridine) and IbTX (Iberiotoxin) and of inhibitors of NO-pathway (L-NAME and ODQ) have been evaluated. The presence of endothelium increased the vasorelaxing potency of BK-openers. This potentiation was eliminated by L-NAME and ODQ. TEA, 4-AP, IbTX and high depolarisation had modest or no antagonist influence on resveratrol in endothelium-denuded aortic rings. The effects of NS 1619 on endothelium-denuded aortic rings were not affected by IbTX, and were modestly antagonised by TEA, 4-AP and high depolarisation. In intact endothelium vessels, TEA, IbTX and 4-AP antagonised the vasorelaxing effect of the two BK-activators. A BK-mediated release of endothelial NO seems a very important factor, determining a strong influence on vasodilator profile of BK-openers. Therefore, an eventual therapy with a BK-opener could promote a series of cardiovascular impacts not confined to the only direct vasorelaxing effects, but also due to a significant contribution of endothelial NO.


BK channels Endothelium Nitric oxide Resveratrol NS 1619 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Calderone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alma Martelli
    • 1
  • Lara Testai
    • 1
  • Enrica Martinotti
    • 1
  • Maria C. Breschi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Psichiatria, Neurobiologia, Farmacologia e BiotecnologieUniversità di PisaPisaItaly

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