Divergent coronary flow responses to uridine adenosine tetraphosphate in atherosclerotic ApoE knockout mice

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Uridine adenosine tetraphosphate (Up4A) exerts potent relaxation in porcine coronary arteries that is reduced following myocardial infarction, suggesting a crucial role for Up4A in the regulation of coronary flow (CF) in cardiovascular disorders. We evaluated the vasoactive effects of Up4A on CF in atherosclerosis using ApoE knockout (KO) mice ex vivo and in vivo. Functional studies were conducted in isolated mouse hearts using the Langendorff technique. Immunofluorescence was performed to assess purinergic P2X1 receptor (P2X1R) expression in isolated mouse coronary arteries. In vivo effects of Up4A on coronary blood flow (CBF) were assessed using ultrasound. Infusion of Up4A (10−9–10−5 M) into isolated mouse hearts resulted in a concentration-dependent reduction in CF in WT and ApoE KO mice to a similar extent; this effect was exacerbated in ApoE KO mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). The P2X1R antagonist MRS2159 restored Up4A-mediated decreases in CF more so in ApoE KO + HFD than ApoE KO mice. The smooth muscle to endothelial cell ratio of coronary P2X1R expression was greater in ApoE KO + HFD than ApoE KO or WT mice, suggesting a net vasoconstrictor potential of P2X1R in ApoE KO + HFD mice. In contrast, Up4A (1.6 mg/kg) increased CBF to a similar extent among the three groups. In conclusion, Up4A decreases CF more in ApoE KO + HFD mice, likely through a net upregulation of vasoconstrictor P2X1R. In contrast, Up4A increases CBF in vivo regardless of the atherosclerotic model.