P2Y2 receptor activation decreases blood pressure via intermediate conductance potassium channels and connexin 37

J. A. Dominguez Rieg, J. M. Burt, P. Ruth, T. Rieg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aims: Nucleotides are important paracrine regulators of vascular tone. We previously demonstrated that activation of P2Y2 receptors causes an acute, NO-independent decrease in blood pressure, indicating this signalling pathway requires an endothelial-derived hyperpolarization (EDH) response. To define the mechanisms by which activation of P2Y2 receptors initiates EDH and vasodilation, we studied intermediate-conductance (KCa3.1, expressed in endothelial cells) and big-conductance potassium channels (KCa1.1, expressed in smooth muscle cells) as well as components of the myoendothelial gap junction, connexins 37 and 40 (Cx37, Cx40), all hypothesized to be part of the EDH response. Methods: We compared the effects of a P2Y2/4 receptor agonist in wild-type (WT) mice and in mice lacking KCa3.1, KCa1.1, Cx37 or Cx40 under anaesthesia, while monitoring intra-arterial blood pressure and heart rate. Results: Acute activation of P2Y2/4 receptors (0.01-3 mg kg-1 body weight i.v.) caused a biphasic blood pressure response characterized by a dose-dependent and rapid decrease in blood pressure in WT (maximal response % of baseline at 3 mg kg-1: -38 ± 1%) followed by a consecutive increase in blood pressure (+44 ± 11%). The maximal responses in KCa3.1-/- and Cx37-/- were impaired (-13 ± 5, +17 ± 7 and -27 ± 1, +13 ± 3% respectively), whereas the maximal blood pressure decrease in response to acetylcholine at 3 μg kg-1 was not significantly different (WT: -53 ± 3%; KCa3.1-/-: -52 ± 3; Cx37-/-: -53 ± 3%). KCa1.1-/- and Cx40-/- showed an identical biphasic response to P2Y2/4 receptor activation compared to WT. Conclusions: The data suggest that the P2Y2/4 receptor activation elicits blood pressure responses via distinct mechanisms involving KCa3.1 and Cx37.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-641
Number of pages14
JournalActa Physiologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Gap junction
  • Hyperpolarization
  • K channels
  • Myogenic tone
  • P2 receptors
  • Signalling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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