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Myogenic tone is a fundamental aspect of vascular behavior in resistance arteries. This contractile response to changes in intravascular pressure is critically involved in blood flow autoregulation in tissues such as the brain, kidneys, and heart. Myogenic tone also helps regulate precapillary pressure and provides a level of background tone upon which vasodilator stimuli act to increase tissue perfusion when appropriate. Despite the importance of these processes in the brain, little is known about the mechanisms involved in control of myogenic tone in the cerebral microcirculation. Here, we report that pharmacological inhibition of P2Y4 and P2Y6 pyrimidine receptors nearly abolished myogenic tone in cerebral parenchymal arterioles (PAs). Molecular suppression of either P2Y4 or P2Y6 receptors using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides reduced myogenic tone by 44%±8% and 45%±7%, respectively. These results indicate that both receptor isoforms are activated by increased intravascular pressure, which enhances the activity of voltage-dependent calcium channels and increases myogenic tone in PAs. Enhancement or inhibition of ectonucleotidase activity had no effect on parenchymal arteriolar myogenic tone, indicating that this response is not mediated by local release of nucleotides, but rather may involve direct mechanical activation of P2Y receptors in the smooth muscle cells.


Joseph E Brayden, Yao Li, Matthew J Tavares. Purinergic receptors regulate myogenic tone in cerebral parenchymal arterioles. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 2013 Feb;33(2):293-9

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PMID: 23168530

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