Role of nitric oxide in non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic relaxation and modulation of excitatory neuroeffector transmission in the cat airway.J Physiol. 1995 Feb 15; 483 (Pt 1):225-37.JP
1. The effects of nitrosocysteine (cys-NO), L-N omega-nitroarginine (L-NNA) and L-N omega-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME), oxyhaemoglobin and Methylene Blue were observed on the resting membrane potential, muscle tone and excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) of cat tracheal smooth muscle tissue. 2. Cys-NO (10(-9) to 10(-6) M) showed no effect on the resting membrane potential of smooth muscle cells of the cat trachea but it dose-dependently relaxed the tracheal tissue in the presence of 5-HT, atropine and guanethidine. 3. Electrical field stimulation (EFS) applied during contraction evoked by 5-HT in the presence of atropine and guanethidine evoked non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic (NANC) muscle relaxation. L-NNA (10(-4) M) and L-NAME (10(-4) M) completely suppressed the relaxation when single or short repetitive stimuli were applied, but suppression was incomplete with repetitive stimuli of 4 ms pulse duration applied at 20 Hz. A substantial part of the L-NNA- or L-NAME-insensitive relaxation was abolished by tetrodotoxin. 4. Cys-NO dose-dependently suppressed the EJPs without changing the resting membrane potential, and L-NNA, L-NAME, Methylene Blue and oxyhaemoglobin enhanced the amplitude of the EJP to 1.2-1.5 times the control value. 5. EJPs showed some summation when repetitive field stimulation was applied at 20 Hz. L-NNA or L-NAME enhanced the summation, and the mean slopes were increased from 0.61 +/- 0.22 to 2.0 +/- 0.3, or 1.9 +/- 0.2 mV per stimulus. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) antiserum and VIP antagonists further enhanced the summation in the presence of L-NNA. 6. These results indicate that NANC relaxation can be classified into two different components according to the threshold for activation, and nitric oxide is involved in one. The present results also suggest that endogenous or exogenous nitric oxide has a prejunctional action in inhibiting excitatory neuroeffector transmission in addition to a direct action on the smooth muscle cells, presumably by suppressing transmitter release from the vagus nerve.