A comparative study of the effects of hypoxia upon isolated arterial muscle from the rat

  • Carole M. Waters

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Contractile response of rat aorta, mesenteric artery and femoral artery to noradrenaline and potassium chloride were studied under standard and hypoxic conditions and the effect of hypoxia was dependent upon both the vessel and the stimulant. Hypoxia had less effect upon contractions to potassium chloride than those to noradrenaline. The effects of hypoxia on potassium chloride induced responses in different vessels were relatively similar although responses to noradrenaline were vessel dependent. Noradrenaline induced contractions of the femoral artery were most affected by hypoxia whilst those of the mesenteric artery were least affected. Hypoxia changed the well maintained response of the femoral artery to noradrenaline to a transient form; this effect of hypoxia was not evident in the aorta or the mesenteric artery. The aorta and mesenteric artery contracted in calcium free EGTA PSS suggesting that these vessels displayed a release component. Hypoxia reduced the magnitude of this component. The effects of verapamil on noradrenaline and potassium chloride induced responses were investigated and were found to be different to those of hypoxia. Verapamil exerted a greater effect on contractions to potassium chloride than on those to noradrenaline. The effects of hypoxia on 45calcium flux were also vessel dependent. In the mesenteric and femoral arteries hypoxia increased basal 45calcium accumulation. However, the magnitude of noradrenaline stimulated 45calcium accumulation was reduced in the femoral artery and aorta but was unchanged in the mesenteric artery. The effects of hypoxia on 45calcium accumulation were similar to verapamil only in the aorta. The results provide evidence that the effects of hypoxia may arise from alterations in calcium mobilisation processes and that differences between vessels in these processes accounts for the heterogeneity between vessels in their response to hypoxia.
Date of Award1988
Original languageEnglish


  • effects of hypoxia
  • isolated arterial muscle
  • rat

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