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Slc29a1 encodes for equilibrative nucleoside transporter subtype 1 (ENT1), the primary mechanism of adenosine transfer across cell membranes. Previous studies showed that tissues isolated from Slc29a1-null mice are relatively resistant to injury caused by vascular ischemia-reperfusion. To determine if there are similar changes in the microvasculature, and investigate underlying mechanism, we examined aortas isolated from wildtype and Slc29a1-null mice. Aorta macrostructure and gene expression were examined histologically and by qPCR, respectively. Wire myography was used to assess the contractile properties of isolated thoracic aortic rings and their response to adenosine under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. In vivo haemodynamic parameters were assessed using the tail-cuff method. Slc29a1-null mice had significantly (P<0.05) increased plasma adenosine (2.75-fold) and lower blood pressure (~15% ↓) than wild-type mice. Aortas from Slc29a1-null mice were stiffer with a smaller circumference (11% ↓), and had an enhanced contractile response to KCl and receptor-mediated stimuli. Blockade of ENT1 with nitrobenzylthioinosine significantly enhanced (by ~3.5-fold) the response of aorta from wild-type mice to phenylephrine, but had minimal effect on aortas from Slc29a1-null mice. Adenosine enhanced phenylephrine-mediated constriction in the wild-type tissue under both normoxic (11.7-fold) and hypoxic (3.6-fold) conditions, but had no effect on the Slc29a1-null aortic aorta. In conclusion, aortas from Slc29a1-null mice respond to hypoxic insult in a manner comparable to wild-type tissues that have been pharmacologically preconditioned with adenosine. These data also support a role for ENT1 in the regulation of the protective effects of adenosine on contractile function in elastic conduit arteries such as thoracic aorta.
PMID: 30408123 [PubMed - in process]