Identification of capric acid as a potent vasorelaxant of human basilar arteries.
To determine whether naturally occurring fatty acids, especially saturated ones, might act directly as vasodilators, segments of human basilar arteries and umbilical arteries were precontracted submaximally with prostaglandin F2 alpha and then exposed to different saturated fatty acids (C4 through C16) or unsaturated fatty acids (C14:1, C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3) at concentrations from 4 microM to 4 mM. The results showed caprate (C10) to be the most potent vasorelaxant and basilar arteries to be more responsive (EC50 = 63 microM) than umbilical arteries (EC50 = 780 microM). Caprate also inhibited contractions elicited by KCl, serotonin, and the thromboxane analogue U46619. The relaxation was independent of the endothelium, and potency was not related to the weak capacity of caprate to inhibit Ca(2+)-induced contractions of K(+)-depolarized basilar arteries. The pattern of potencies for the arteries differed, but among unsaturated fatty acids the monounsaturated (C14:1, C18:1) were more potent than the polyunsaturated (C18:2, C18:3). Comparing the potencies obtained with the concentrations reported for the free fatty acid content of arteries, brain, and plasma indicates that these lipids could influence vasomotion in health and disease.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association