Members of the MAPK family of enzymes, p42/44 and p38, have been implicated in both the regulation of contractile function and growth responses in vascular smooth muscle. We determined whether such kinases are activated during the arteriolar myogenic response after increases in intraluminal pressure. Particular emphasis was placed on temporal aspects of activation to determine whether such phosphorylation events parallel the known time course for myogenic contraction. Experiments used single cannulated arterioles isolated from the cremaster muscle of rats with some vessels loaded with the fluorescent Ca2+-sensitive dye fura 2 (2 microM). The p42/44 inhibitor PD-98059 (50 microM) caused vasodilation but did not prevent pressure-induced myogenic constriction. The vasodilator response was accompanied by decreased smooth muscle intracellular Ca2+. Western blotting revealed a significant increase in the level of phosphorylation of p42/44 15 min after the application of a 30- to 100-mmHg pressure step. Phosphorylation of p42/44 was a late event that appeared to be temporally dissociated from contraction, which was complete within 1-5 min. EGF (80 nM) caused marked phosphorylation of p42/44 but only acted as a weak vasoconstrictor. The p38 inhibitor SB-203580 (10 microM) did not alter baseline diameter, nor did it prevent myogenic vasoconstriction. Consistent with these observations, SB-203580 did not cause a measurable change in intracellular Ca2+. The results demonstrate activation of the p42/44 class of MAPK resulting from increased transmural pressure. Such activation is, however, dissociated from the acute pressure-induced vasoconstrictor response in terms of time course and may represent the activation of compensatory, but parallel, pathways, including those related to growth and remodeling.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2003|