Comparison of Adrenergic and Purinergic Receptor Contributions to Vasomotor Responses in Mesenteric Arteries of C57BL/6J Mice and Wistar Rats

Astha Mittal, Peter D. Park, Ray Mitchell, Hanwei Fang, Pooneh Bagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: The sympathetic nervous system can modulate arteriolar tone through release of adenosine triphosphate and norepinephrine, which bind to purinergic and adrenergic receptors (ARs), respectively. The expression pattern of these receptors, as well as the composition of neurotransmitters released from perivascular nerves (PVNs), can vary both in organ systems within and across species, such as mice and rats. Objective: This study explores the function of α1A subtypes in mouse and rat third-order mesenteric arteries and investigates PVN-mediated vasoconstriction to identify which neurotransmitters are released from sympathetic PVNs. Methods: Third-order mesenteric arteries from male C57BL/6J mice and Wistar rats were isolated and mounted on a wire myograph for functional assessment. Arteries were exposed to phenylephrine (PE) and then incubated with either α1A antagonist RS100329 (RS) or α1D antagonist BMY7378, before reexposure to PE. Electrical field stimulation was performed by passing current through platinum electrodes positioned adjacent to arteries in the absence and presence of a nonspecific alpha AR blocker phentolamine and/or P2X1-specific purinergic receptor blocker NF449. Results: Inhibition of α1 ARs by RS revealed that PE-induced vasoconstriction is primarily mediated through α1A and that the contribution of the α1A AR is greater in rats than in mice. In the mouse model, sympathetic nerve-mediated vasoconstriction is mediated by both ARs and purinergic receptors, whereas in rats, vasoconstriction appeared to only be mediated by ARs and a nonpurinergic neurotransmitter. Further, neither model demonstrated that α1D ARs play a significant role in PE-mediated vasoconstriction. Conclusions: The mesenteric arteries of male C57BL/6J mice and Wistar rats have subtle differences in the signaling mechanisms used to mediate vasoconstriction. As signaling pathways in humans under physiological and pathophysiological conditions become better defined, the current study may inform animal model selection for preclinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vascular Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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