Different mechanisms mediate constriction and dilation in different vascular beds. We have used reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to investigate whether specific patterns of receptor gene expression may underlie these variable responses. Total RNA, from the basilar, pulmonary, mesenteric and tail arteries of anaesthetised adult Wistar rats, was reverse transcribed and amplified using primers specific for the molecular subtypes of the α(1(A, B, D))- and α(2((A, B, C))-adrenergic, neurokinin (NK1-NK3) and muscarinic (m1-m5), receptors. Results showed that the pattern of gene expression was variable with no two arteries having the same receptor profile. Messenger RNA for the α(1A), α(1B), α(2B), NK1, NK3, m3 and m5 receptor subtypes were detected in all vessels studied while the remaining subtypes showed a variable expression amongst the arteries. This is the first description of mRNA for the m5 muscarinic receptor in peripheral tissue. The NK3 receptor was the major neurokinin receptor expressed in all vessels except the pulmonary artery, in which the NK1 receptor was also strongly expressed. We conclude that each artery expressed a specific receptor array which may permit some unique neural and hormonal controls.
- Muscarinic cholinoceptors
- Neurokinin receptors