A key role for Na+/K+-ATPase in the endothelium-dependent oscillatory activity of mouse small mesenteric arteries

F. R.C. Giachini, F. S. Carneiro, V. V. Lima, Z. N. Carneiro, M. W. Brands, R Clinton Webb, R. C. Tostes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Oscillatory contractile activity is an inherent property of blood vessels. Various cellular mechanisms have been proposed to contribute to oscillatory activity. Mouse small mesenteric arteries display a unique low frequency contractile oscillatory activity (1 cycle every 10-12 min) upon phenylephrine stimulation. Our objective was to identify mechanisms involved in this peculiar oscillatory activity. First-order mesenteric arteries were mounted in tissue baths for isometric force measurement. The oscillatory activity was observed only in vessels with endothelium, but it was not blocked by L-NAME (100 μM) or indomethacin (10 μM), ruling out the participation of nitric oxide and prostacyclin, respectively, in this phenomenon. Oscillatory activity was not observed in vessels contracted with K+ (90 mM) or after stimulation with phenylephrine plus 10 mM K+. Ouabain (1 to 10 μM, an Na +/K+-ATPase inhibitor), but not K+ channel antagonists [tetraethylammonium (100 μM, a nonselective K+ channel blocker), Tram-34 (10 μM, blocker of intermediate conductance K+ channels) or UCL-1684 (0.1 μM, a small conductance K+ channel blocker)], inhibited the oscillatory activity. The contractile activity was also abolished when experiments were performed at 20°C or in K+-free medium. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Na+/K +-ATPase is a potential source of these oscillations. The presence of α-1 and α-2 Na+/K+-ATPase isoforms was confirmed in murine mesenteric arteries by Western blot. Chronic infusion of mice with ouabain did not abolish oscillatory contraction, but up-regulated vascular Na+/K+-ATPase expression and increased blood pressure. Together, these observations suggest that the Na+/K + pump plays a major role in the oscillatory activity of murine small mesenteric arteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1067
Number of pages10
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


  • Na/K-ATPase pump
  • Oscillatory activity
  • Ouabain
  • Small mesenteric arteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cell Biology


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