Muscarinic cholinergic regulation of cardiac myocyte ICa-L is absent in mice with targeted disruption of endothelial nitric oxide synthase

Xinqiang Han*, Isao Kubota, Olivier Feron, Douglas J. Opel, Margaret A. Arstall, You Yang Zhao, Paul Huang, Mark C. Fishman, Thomas Michel, Ralph A. Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Cardiac myocytes have been shown to express constitutively endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) (nitric oxide synthase 3), the activation of which has been implicated in the regulation of myocyte L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channel current (ICa-L) and myocyte contractile responsiveness to parasympathetic nervous system signaling, although this implication remains controversial. Therefore, we examined the effect of the muscarinic cholinergic agonist carbachol (CCh) on ICa-L and contractile amplitude in isoproterenol (ISO)-prestimulated ventricular myocytes isolated from adult mice, designated eNOSnull mice, with targeted disruption of the eNOS gene. Although both eNOSnull and wild-type (WT) ventricular myocytes exhibited similar increases in ICa-L in response to ISO, there was no measurable suppression of ICa-L by CCh in cells from eNOSnull mice, in contrast to cells from WT mice. These results were reflected in the absence of an effect of CCh on the positive inotropic effect of ISO in eNOSnull myocytes. Also, unlike myocytes from WT animals, eNOSnull myocytes failed to exhibit an increase in cGMP content in response to CCh. Nevertheless, the pharmacologic nitric oxide donors 3-morpholino-sydnonimine and S-nitroso-acetyl-cystein increased cGMP generation and suppressed ISO-augmented ICa-L in eNOSnull cells, suggesting that the signal transduction pathway(s) downstream of eNOS remained intact. Of importance, activation of the acetylcholine-activated K+ channel by CCh was unaffected in atrial and ventricular eNOSnull myocytes. These results confirm the obligatory role of eNOS in coupling muscarinic receptor activation to cGMP-dependent control of ICa-L in cardiac myocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6510-6515
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 26 1998

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