Chapter

Endothelium-dependent vasodilator mechanisms

T.M. Cocks

in The Pharmacology of Vascular Smooth Muscle

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780192623874
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724671 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192623874.003.0010
Endothelium-dependent vasodilator mechanisms

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The endothelium not only provides an important permeability barrier between the blood and the surrounding tissues, particularly in the brain, but it also presents a non-thrombogenic surface to the blood, inactivates many bioactive substances, regulates vascular tone, and signals immune cells to extravasate in response to inflammatory stimuli. This chapter concentrates on possible roles for endothelium-dependent vasodilator mechanisms in the control of vascular tone. The main focus is how multiple endothelium-dependent dilator systems, like nitric oxide (NO), membrane hyperpolarization, or K+ channel-dependent mechanisms and possibly archidonic acid-derived factors like prostacyclin and various lip oxygenase-derived products interact to regulate smooth muscle relaxation.

Keywords: vasodilator mechanisms; endothelium; vascular tone; dilator systems; hyperpolarization; prostacyclin; nitric oxide

Chapter.  7575 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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