Glucagon is known for its insulin-antagonist effect in the blood glucose homeostasis, while it also reduces vascular resistance. The mechanism of the vasoactive effect of glucagon has not been studied before; thereby we aimed to investigate the mediators involved in the vasodilatation induced by glucagon. The vasoactive effect of glucagon, insulin, and glucagon-like peptide-1 was studied on isolated rat thoracic aortic rings using a wire myograph. To investigate the mechanism of the vasodilatation caused by glucagon, we determined the role of the receptor for glucagon and the receptor for GLP-1, and studied also the effect of various inhibitors of gasotransmitters, inhibitors of reactive oxygen species formation, NADPH oxidase, prostaglandin synthesis, protein kinases, potassium channels, and an inhibitor of the Na+/Ca2+-exchanger. Glucagon causes dose-dependent relaxation in the rat thoracic aorta, which is as potent as that of insulin but greater than that of GLP-1 (7-36) amide. Vasodilatation by GLP-1 is partially mediated by the glucagon receptor. The vasodilatation due to glucagon evokes via the glucagon-receptor, but also via the receptor for GLP-1, and it is endothelium-independent. Contribution of gasotransmitters, prostaglandins, the NADPH oxidase enzyme, free radicals, potassium channels, and the Na+/Ca2+-exchanger is also significant. Glucagon causes dose-dependent relaxation of rat thoracic aorta in vitro, via the receptor for glucagon and the receptor for GLP-1, while the vasodilatation evoked by GLP-1 also evolves partially via the receptor for glucagon, thereby, a possible crosstalk between the 2 hormones and receptors could occur.
- aortic rings
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical