Novel expression of GABAA receptors on resistance arteries that modulate myogenic tone

Academic Article


  • The clinical administration of GABAergic medications leads to hypotension which has classically been attributed to the modulation of neuronal activity in the central and peripheral nervous systems. However, certain types of peripheral smooth muscle cells have been shown to express GABAA receptors, which modulate smooth muscle tone, by the activation of these chloride channels on smooth muscle cell plasma membranes. Limited prior studies demonstrate that non-human large-caliber capacitance blood vessels mounted on a wire myograph are responsive to GABAA ligands. We questioned whether GABAA receptors are expressed in human resistance arteries and whether they modulate myogenic tone. We demonstrate the novel expression of GABAA subunits on vascular smooth muscle from small-caliber human omental and mouse tail resistance arteries. We show that GABAA receptors modulate both plasma membrane potential and calcium responses in primary cultured cells from human resistance arteries. Lastly, we demonstrate functional physiologic modulation of myogenic tone via GABAA receptor activation in human and mouse arteries. Together, these studies demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for GABAA receptors in the modulation of myogenic tone in mouse and human resistance arteries.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yim PD; Gallos G; Lee-Kong SA; Dan W; Wu AD; Xu D; Berkowitz DE; Emala CW
  • Start Page

  • 113
  • End Page

  • 125
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 3