Contractile responses of the basilar artery isolated from rabbits exposed to 8-day head-down tilt

K. Ueda, Y. Aoyama, F. Sasaka-Kitamura, Y. Kawai

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2 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, the effects of head-down tilt (HDT) on contractile responses of basilar and popliteal arteries were investigated in vitro. The arteries were isolated from rabbits exposed to 8 d of 45° HDT. Isometric tension and intracellular calcium were measured in an organ bath perfused with physiological salt solution. In the HDT rabbits, contractile response to norepinephrine (NE) was attenuated in the basilar artery, bur not in the popliteal artery compared with control rabbits. HDT did not change the responses to either KCI or 5-hydroxytryptamine in both arteries. In the response of basilar artery to NE, the difference in both [Ca2+]i transient and Ca sensitivity between control and HDT rabbits were statistically not significant. The response of the basilar artery to phenylephrine, a selective α1-adrenergic agonist, was also attenuated by HDT. Treatment with propranolol, a β-adrenergic blockade, did not affect the response to NE in the basilar arteries isolated from control rabbits, bur it significantly enhanced the response in the basilar arteries from HDT rabbits. These results suggest that exposure to 8-d HDT decreases a contractile response of the basilar artery to NE in rabbits. The reduction of NE-induced contraction is probably attributable to both decreased Ca transient and decreased Ca sensitivity, and decreased α1-adrenoceptor activity and increased β-adrenoceptor activity seem to be involved in the mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese journal of physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenergic receptor
  • Intracellular calcium
  • Microgravity
  • Norepinephrine
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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