Adenosine metabolism in small coronary arteries of pig.
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Adenosine preferentially relaxes small coronary arteries over large ones, and small bovine coronary arteries are also known to have a higher density of adenosine receptors. Here we report a possible role of adenosine metabolism in this process. Subcellular fractions, from right coronary artery (lumen diameter of 2-3 mm) of pig designated as large coronary artery and its subsequent branches (lumen diameter of 0.5-1 mm) as small coronary arteries, were prepared and characterized. In comparison to the various large artery subcellular fractions, the corresponding small artery fractions were richer in 5'-nucleotidase but poorer in adenosine deaminase. Thus a cascade of events may promote adenosine relaxation in small coronary arteries: higher activity of 5'-nucleotidase leads to production of more adenosine, larger number of receptors allows greater reactivity to adenosine, and lower adenosine deaminase level promotes prolonged action of adenosine.
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