Kvα1 channels in murine arterioles: differential cellular expression and regulation of diameter

A. Cheong, A. M. Dedman, S. Z. Xu, D. J. Beech*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary objectives of this study were to reveal cell-specific expression patterns and functions of voltage-gated K+ channel (Kvαl) subunits in precapillary arterioles of the murine cerebral circulation. Kvαl were detected using peptide-specific antibodies in immunofluorescence and Western blotting assays. Kvl.2 was localized almost exclusively to endothelial cells, whereas Kvl.5 was discretely localized to the nerves and nerve terminals that innervate the arterioles. Kvl.5 also localized specifically to arteriolar nerves in human pial membrane. Kvl.5 was notable for its absence from smooth muscle cells. Kv1.3, Kvl.4, and Kvl.6 were localized to endothelial and smooth muscle cells, although Kv1.4 had a low expression level. Kvl.1 was not expressed. Therefore, we show that different cell types of pial arterioles have distinct physiological expression profiles of Kvαl, conferring the possibility of differential modulation by extracellular and second messengers. Furthermore, we show recombinant agitoxin-2 and margatoxin are potent vasoconstrictors, suggesting that Kvαl subunits have a major function in determining arteriolar resistance to blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1057-H1065
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2001


  • Cerebral circulation
  • Endothelium
  • K channel
  • Mouse
  • Smooth muscle
  • Vascular nerves


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