Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation and the Nature of the Endothelium-Derived Relaxing Factor

  • Robert F. Furchgott


In 1980, Furchgott and Zawadzki reported that the relaxation of the smooth muscle of in vitro preparations of rabbit aorta and other arteries induced by acetylcholine and other agonists for muscarinic receptors was dependent on the presence of endothelial cells in the preparations. After complete removal of the endothelial cells, either mechanically or enzymatically, acetylcholine no longer induced any relaxation, but in most arteries, actually caused some contraction at higher concentrations (Figure 1). In the case of isolated rings or strips of rabbit thoracic aorta, the muscarinic receptor mediating relaxation appeared to be the same subtype (M2) as the receptor on the smooth muscle cells mediating contraction (Furchgott et al., 1981; Furchgott, 1986).


Nitric Oxide Methylene Blue Guanylate Cyclase Resistance Vessel Soluble Guanylate Cyclase 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Furchgott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Health Science CenterState University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

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