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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanism of coronary vasodilation to insulin and insulin-like growth factor I is dependent on vessel size.

Insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) influence numerous metabolic and mitogenic processes; these hormones also have vasoactive properties. This study examined mechanisms involved in insulin- and IGF-I-induced dilation in canine conduit and microvascular coronary segments. Tension of coronary artery segments was measured after constriction with PGF(2alpha). Internal diameter of coronary microvessels (resting diameter = 112.6+/-10.1 microm) was measured after endothelin constriction. Vessels were incubated in control (Krebs) solution and were treated with N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NA), indomethacin, or K(+) channel inhibitors. After constriction, cumulative doses of insulin or IGF-I (0.1-100 ng/ml) were administered. In conduit arteries, insulin produced modest maximal relaxation (32 +/- 5%) compared with IGF-I (66+/-12%). Vasodilation was attenuated by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase inhibition and was blocked with KCl constriction. Coronary microvascular relaxation to insulin and IGF-I was not altered by L-NA, indomethacin, tetraethylammonium chloride, glibenclamide, charybdotoxin, and apamin; however, tetrabutylammonium chloride attenuated the response. In conclusion, insulin and IGF-I cause vasodilation in canine coronary conduit arteries and microvessels. In conduit vessels, NOS/cyclooxygenase pathways are involved in the vasodilation. In microvessels, relaxation to insulin and IGF-I is not mediated by NOS/cyclooxygenase pathways but rather through K(+)-dependent mechanisms.[1]


  1. Mechanism of coronary vasodilation to insulin and insulin-like growth factor I is dependent on vessel size. Oltman, C.L., Kane, N.L., Gutterman, D.D., Bar, R.S., Dellsperger, K.C. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. (2000) [Pubmed]
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