Inhibition by zinc protoporphyrin-IX of receptor-mediated relaxation of the rat aorta in a manner distinct from inhibition of haem oxygenase

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1. Carbon monoxide (CO), produced by haem oxygenase through degradation of haem, has been claimed to be a neuromessenger and a possible regulator of vascular tone. We examined whether the haem oxygenase inhibitor, zinc protoporphyrin-IX (ZnPP) and other porphyrins affect the relaxation evoked by various agents in the rat isolated aorta. 2. Pretreatment with ZnPP (0.1 mM) virtually abolished the relaxation evoked by vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP). ZnPP also evoked a rightward shift of the concentration-response curve for the relaxation induced by acetylcholine. 3. In contrast, ZnPP did not affect the relaxation evoked by forskolin and 3-morpholino-sydnonimine, agents which directly activate adenylate and guanylate cyclase, respectively. 4. Although, less effective than ZnPP, tin protoporphyrin-IX (SnPP; 0.1 mM) and protoporphyrin-IX (PP; 0.1 mM) also attenuated the VIP-evoked relaxation. 5. The elevation of cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP levels evoked by VIP and ANP, respectively, were abolished by pretreatment with ZnPP (0.1 mM). 6. ZnPP, SnPP and PP did not affect the contraction evoked by phenylephrine. 7. The results show that ZnPP inhibits relaxation induced by VIP, ANP and acetylcholine, probably by interfering with membrane receptor-coupled signal transduction pathways. This inhibition does not seem to be dependent upon inhibition of haem oxygenase. The lack of specificity of the haem oxygenase inhibiting metalloporphyrins makes them less suitable as pharmacological tools in the investigation of a messenger role for CO.


Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Farmakologi och toxikologi


Sidor (från-till)186-190
TidskriftBritish Journal of Pharmacology
StatusPublished - 1995 maj
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa