Cholinergic Interactions and Vascular Smooth Muscle Tone

  • Tony J-F. Lee
Part of the Contemporary Biomedicine book series (CB, volume 5)


Acetylcholine (ACh) has been shown to consistently contract almost all mammalian nonvascular smooth muscles examined (15, 21, 24, 60). In contrast, the action of ACh on vascular smooth muscle tone has been found to be inconsistent. ACh, intravascularly administered, has been shown to induce vasodilation of most vascular beds (22), whereas it constricts several isolated blood vessels (53, 56, 73, 75, 121). However, the theory has prevailed that ACh is a vasodilator substance or transmitter and that the direct effect of ACh on vascular smooth muscle cells is relaxation (22, 126). This concept has recently been challenged by the findings about the obligatory role of endothelial cells in ACh-induced vasodilation (54, 85, 89, 91).


Muscarinic Receptor Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide Adrenergic Nerve Cholinergic Nerve Cerebral Blood Vessel 
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© The Humana Press Inc. 1985

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  • Tony J-F. Lee

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