Vascular relaxation mediated by endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF) is important for resistance artery function and is underpinned by hyperpolarization of the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessel wall. Debate surrounds the identity of EDHF and its mechanism of action, with the consensus being that there is no universal EDHF. Regional differences in vascular function reflect the complex mechanisms of EDHF. Two primary mechanistic pathways are implicated: (i) myoendothelial gap junctions mediating the spread of endothelial cell hyperpolarization or small signaling molecules (or both) to the smooth muscle; and (ii) diffusible mediators released from the endothelium, including K(+) and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. Here, we discuss the evidence for and against C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), the latest candidate for a diffusible mediator.
|61 - 67
|Number of pages
|Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
|Published - 2007