PMID: 7091357Jun 1, 1982Paper

Effect of tetrodotoxin on membrane potentials and active tone in vascular smooth muscle

The American Journal of Physiology
J H LombardW J Stekiel


The suitability of tetrodotoxin (TTX) for studies of the neural control of vascular smooth muscle (VSM) tone in the microcirculation was evaluated by determining 1) whether TTX blockade of neural input to adrenergically innervated VSM is reversible and 2) whether TTX depresses active VSM tone directly. Diameters of rat mesenteric veins and third- and fourth-order arterioles of the hamster cheek pouch were measured by image splitting. VSM transmembrane potentials (Em) were measured with microelectrodes in rat mesenteric veins. In the veins TTX suffusion (10(-6) g/ml) resulted in dilation and reversible Em hyperpolarization. TTX also reversibly blocked the venoconstrictor response to perivascular nerve stimulation. TTX had no effect on the resting tone of hamster arterioles or on arteriolar constriction in response to increased oxygen availability. TTX did not affect the response to norepinephrine in either preparation. This study indicates that TTX specifically and reversibly blocks VSM responses to neural activation but that it has no direct depressant effect on resting VSM tone or active constriction in response to nonneural activation.


Jul 1, 1984·Hypertension·J H LombardW J Stekiel
Jun 17, 2008·American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology·Yang LiSamuel S Lee

Related Concepts

Structure of Arteriole
Resting Potentials
Structure of Mesenteric Vein
Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
Norepinephrine, (+, -)-Isomer

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