Predominant α1adrenoceptor-mediated contraction in the human internal mammary artery

Guo Wei He*, J. Shaw, C. F. Hughes, Cheng Qin Yang, D. S. Thomson, B. McCaughan, P. N. Hendle, D. K. Baird

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


α-Adrenoceptor agonists and antagonists are widely used perioperatively for internal mammary artery (IMA)-coronary artery bypass operations. To determine subtypes of a-adrenoceptors in the human IMA, we studied responses of isolated human IMA segments to a-adre-noceptor agonists, antagonists, and electrical stimulation in organ baths. The IMA ring segments (3 mm long) were set up at a physiologic and comparable condition according to their own length-tension curves. α1Agonist meth-oxamine (MO) induced 2.65 ± 0.70 g force and α1α2-agonist norepinephrine (NE) induced 4.07 ± 0.70 g force. The contractions induced by both MO and NE were totally abolished by ai-antagonist prazosin (0.1 µM) but not α2-antagonist yohimbine. α2-Agonist UK14304 induced only 0.39 ± 0.17 g force, which was significantly less than that induced by MO or NE (p < 0.001). Contractions induced by electrical field stimulation (2, 10, 20 Hz) were decreased by α1-antagonist prazosin 1 µM (p < 0.01) but potentiated by α2-antagonist yohimbine. These results strongly suggest that in the human IMA the postjunctional α-adrenoceptors are predominantly of the α1-subtype and therefore the α-adrenoceptor agonist-induced contraction and the sympathetic nerve stimulation-induced contraction is mediated mainly by activation of the α1-adrenoceptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenoceptor
  • Coronary bypass
  • Internal mammary artery
  • Sympathetic nerve

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