Actions of NO donors and endogenous nitrergic transmitter on the longitudinal muscle of rat ileum in vitro: Mechanisms involved

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The aim of this work has been to characterize and to compare the responses of the rat ileal longitudinal muscle to the nitric oxide (NO) donors, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and morpholinosydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1). SNP (10-5-10-3M) caused a contraction followed by a relaxation, both components being concentration-dependent. In contrast, SIN-1 (10-5-10-4M) caused a relaxation followed by a contraction. Neither the neural blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX) nor atropine were able to change the response to SNP, whereas nifedipine abolished its contractile component. In contrast, TTX and nifedipine diminished both the relaxation and the contraction in response to SIN-1, whereas atropine decreased only the contractile component. The specific guanylate cyclase inhibitor oxadiazolo-quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) decreased the relaxation induced by SNP but did not modify that caused by SIN-1. The K+ channel blockers charybdotoxin, apamin and tetraethylamonium were unable to modify the response to SNP. In contrast, both TEA and apamin significantly decreased the relaxation induced by SIN-1. The relaxation resulting from electrical field stimulation (EFS) of enteric nerves in non-adrenergic non-cholinergic conditions is mainly but not exclusively nitrergic, as incubation with the NO synthase inhibitor L-NNA markedly decreases such relaxation. EFS-induced relaxation is also sensitive to ODQ. We conclude that SNP acts mainly on smooth muscle cells activating L-type Ca2+ channels, which result in contraction, and activates the soluble guanylate cyclase, which results in relaxation. In contrast SIN-1 has mixed - neuronal and muscular - effects, the contraction being caused both by acetylcholine release from neurons and by direct activation of L-type Ca2+ channels on smooth muscle cells. SIN-1-induced relaxation is cGMP-independent and it is likely to occur as a consequence of both, neuronal release of inhibitory transmitter(s) and by activation of apamin sensitive K+ channels. The effect of the nitrergic transmitter released from enteric nerves is different from those caused by SIN-1 but shows similarities with those caused by SNP. © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1143-1154
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2001


  • 3-Morpholinosydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1)
  • Nitric oxide
  • Rat ileum
  • Sodium nitroprusside


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