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Our previous studies have indicated that nitric oxide takes part in the basal regulation of vascular tone in skeletal muscle. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether nitric oxide has a role in the active hyperaemic response of a working muscle in a resting subject. Haemodynamic effects of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibition (L-NAME, 10 mg/kg/30 min iv. infusion) were determined simultaneously in the resting m. quadriceps femoris and in the working (breathing) m. rectus abdominis in anaesthetised rats ( 86Rb accumulation technique). L-NAME increased blood pressure and total peripheral resistance (TPR) while it decreased cardiac output. Blood flow (BF) decreased and vascular resistance (VR) increased both in resting (BF: 8.91±1.97®5.92±2.59 ml/min/100 g, p<0.05; VR: 106±29.9®212±113 R, p<0.01) and working (BF: 17.0±4.78®6.93±2.15 ml/min/100g, p<0.001; VR: 57.0±18.5®160±56.7 R, p<0.01) muscle following NOS inhibition, but the percentile change of BF was higher in the working muscle (59%) than in the resting one (34%, p0.001). There was a positive correlation between the cardiac output and the blood flow of the resting muscle with or without L-NAME administration, but blood flow of the working muscle failed to have any correlation with the cardiac output in control animals. However, L-NAME administration decreased both the cardiac output and the blood flow and similarly to the resting muscle a positive correlation was found. In conclusion, the haemodynamic effects of NOS inhibition are higher in working muscle than in the resting one: the nitric oxide may have important role in vasodilatation during muscle activity. _a

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The human submandibular gland cell line (HSG) has been used as a model for studying the molecular mechanisms of salivary cells. The aim of this study was to investigate some aspects of salivary Ca 2+ signalling. We focused on the presence and function of specific molecular markers of salivary cells to see whether this cell line retained normal salivary characteristics, despite the neoplastic changes. We detected the M3 acetylcholine receptor and intracellular salivary amylase mRNA with RT-PCR. Carbachol treatment caused a rapid, transient elevation of [Ca 2+ ] i , showing that the cholinergic receptors are functional in HSG cells. Protein kinase C activation by phorbol-esther PMA, prior to carbachol treatment, inhibited the normal Ca 2+ signalling pathway in HSG cells. Using selective antagonists, we also identified the dominant muscarinic receptor subtype M3 on HSG cells. We also observed that functional extracellular purinergic receptors were present on HSG cells and coupled to intracellular Ca 2+ signalling. Our results suggested that the coupling mechanisms of these receptors remained relatively intact despite the neoplastic transformation. This enables us to use this cell line to model the role of muscarinic and purinergic control of salivary gland function, cell proliferation and differentiation.

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