The pharmacological properties of bradykinin receptors were characterized in rat cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) using [3H]-bradykinin as a ligand. Analysis of binding isotherms gave an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant (K(D)) of 1.2 ± 0.2 nM and a maximum receptor density (B(max)) of 47.3 ± 4.4 fmol/mg protein. The specific binding of [3H]-bradykinin to VSMCs was inhibited by the B2 receptor-selective agonists (bradykinin and kallidin) and antagonists ([D-Arg0, Hyp3, Thi5, D-Tic7, Oic8]-bradykinin (Hoe 140) and [D-Arg0, Hyp3, Thi5,8, D-Phe7]-bradykinin) with an order of potency as kallidin = bradykinin = Hoe 140 > [D-Arg0, Hyp3, Thi5,8, D-Phe7]-bradykinin, but not by a B1 receptor-selective agonist (des-Arg9-bradykinin) and antagonist ([Leu8, des-Arg9]-bradykinin). Stimulation of VSMCs by bradykinin produced a concentration-dependent inositol phosphate (IP) accumulation, and initial transient peak of [Ca2+](i) with half-maximal responses (pEC50) were 7.53 and 7.69, respectively. B2 receptor-selective antagonists (Hoe 140 and [D-Arg0, Hyp3, Thi5,8, D-Phe7]-bradykinin) significantly antagonized the bradykinin-induced responses with pK(B) values of 8.3-8.7 and 7.2-7.9, respectively. Pretreatment of VSMCs with pertussis toxin (100 ng/ml, 24 h) did not alter the bradykinin-induced inositol phosphate accumulation and [Ca2+](i) changes in VSMCs. Removal of external Ca2+ led to a significant attenuation of responses induced by bradykinin. Influx of external Ca2+ was required for the bradykinin-induced responses, since Ca2+-channel blockers, nifedipine, verapamil, and Ni2+, partially inhibited the bradykinin-induced IP accumulation and Ca2+ mobilization. These results demonstrate that bradykinin stimulates phosphoinositide hydrolysis and Ca2+ mobilization via a pertussis toxin-insensitive G-protein in rat VSMCs. Bradykinin B2 receptors may be predominantly mediating IP accumulation and subsequently induction of Ca2+ mobilization may function as the transducing mechanism for bradykinin-stimulated contraction of vascular smooth muscle. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.
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