Modulation of nitric oxide-dependent relaxation of pig tracheal smooth muscle by inhibitors of guanylyl cyclase and calcium activated potassium channels

M. S. Kannan, D. E. Johnson

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41 Scopus citations


Nitric oxide is released from intrinsic nonadrenergic, noncholinergic (NANC) nerves of pig tracheal smooth muscle (TSM) in response to electrical field stimulation (EFS). In this study, we investigated the role of guanylyl cyclase in the NANC relaxation by using guanylyl cyclase inhibitors, LY83583 and methylene blue (MB). The role of large conductance calcium-activated potassium (KCa) channels in mediating NANC relaxation was studied by using inhibitors of this channel, charybdotoxin and iberiotoxin. In carbachol-contracted TSM strips, LY83583 (10-20 uM) and MB (10-100 uM) resulted in inhibition of EFS-induced relaxations at all frequencies studied. Relaxations induced by exogenous 8-Bromo-cyclic 3′,5-guanosine monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP) were unaffected by LY83583. The concentration-relaxation curves to isoproterenol, which acts by elevating adenosine-3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP), and the nitric oxide donors sodium nitroprusside (SNP) or S-nitroso-n-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) were unaffected by LY83583. Both charybdotoxin (240 nM) and iberiotoxin (180 nM) attenuated relaxations induced by EFS and SNAP. The role of guanylyl cyclase activation in the relaxation to EFS of pig TSM is suggested by the sensitivity of the responses to MB. The selective inhibitory effects of LY83583 on relaxation to neurally released, but not to the nitric oxide donors, suggests that it acts by inhibiting nitric oxide release. The lack of any effect of LY83583 on isoproterenol- or guanosine, 3′5′-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP)-mediated relaxation suggests a mechanism that does not involve elevation of cAMP but lies proximal to the generation of cGMP. The susceptibility of the relaxations to EFS and SNAP to charybdotoxin and iberiotoxin suggests a mechanism that involves the selective activation of kCa, channels in airway smooth muscle cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2229-2238
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number25
StatePublished - May 12 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from the United States Department of Agriculture Formula Funds, 3M Company, St. Paul, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation. We thank Drs. D.R. Brown and A.K. Singh for helpful discussions.


  • guanylyl cyclase inhibitors
  • nitric oxide
  • potassium channel blockers
  • tracheal smooth muscle


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