Reduced Mechanical Stretch Induces Enhanced Endothelin B Receptor-mediated Contractility via Activation of Focal Adhesion Kinase and Extra Cellular-regulated Kinase 1/2 in Cerebral Arteries from Rat

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Cerebral ischaemia results in enhanced endothelin B (ETB ) receptor-mediated contraction and receptor protein expression in the affected cerebrovascular smooth muscle cells (SMC). Organ culture of cerebral arteries is a method to induce similar alterations in ETB receptor expression. We hypothesize that rapid and sustained reduction in wall tension/stretch is a possible trigger mechanism for this vascular remodelling. Isolated rat middle cerebral artery (MCA) segments were incubated in a wire-myograph with or without mechanical stretch, prior to assessment of their contractile response to the selective ETB receptor agonist sarafotoxin 6c. The involvement of extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were studied by their specific inhibitors U0126 and PF-228, respectively. Compared to their stretched counterparts, un-stretched MCA segments showed a significantly increased ETB receptor-mediated contractile response following 12 hr of incubation, which was attenuated by either U0126 or PF-228. The functionally increased ETB -mediated contractility could be attributed to two different mechanisms: 1) a difference in ETB receptor localization from primarily endothelial expression to SMC expression and 2) an increased calcium sensitivity of the SMCs due to an increased expression of the calcium channel transient receptor potential canonical 1. Collectively, our results present a possible mechanism linking lack of vessel wall stretch/tension to changes in ETB receptor-mediated contractility via triggering of an early mechanosensitive signalling pathway involving ERK1/2 and FAK signalling. A mechanism likely to be an initiating factor for the increased ETB receptor-mediated contractility found after cerebral ischaemia. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBasic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

ID: 154041971