Insulin inhibits vasopressin-elicited contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells

J. L. Ram, M. A. Fares, P. R. Standley, L. L. Therrell, R. V. Thyagaranjan, J. R. Sowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Insulin may play a role in regulation of blood pressure, as indicated by previous observations of insulin-induced reductions in vascular contraction and an association of hypertension with insulin resistance. This study was designed to determine if vascular effects of insulin are mediated, in part, by a direct inhibitory action on the contractility of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Contractile responses of rat tail arterial VSMC cultured for 4 to 6 days to arginine vasopressin (AVP) were studied using video morphometry. AVP caused dose-dependent contraction of VSMC over the concentration range of 10-9 M to 10-5 M (analysis of variance [ANOVA], p < .01). Insulin, by itself, had no effect on VSMC shape; however, insulin, in concentrations ranging from 100 μU/ml to 100 mU/ml, reduced the contractile response to 10-7M AVP (ANOVA, p < .01). Inhibitory effects of insulin on VSMC contraction were thus obtained at concentrations (e.g., 100 μ U/ml) within the physiologic range of plasma insulin concentrations, suggesting that insulin action on VSMC in vivo may mediate physiologic and pathologic effects of insulin on blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular Medicine and Biology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1993


  • cultured cells
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • postprandial hypotension
  • video morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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