Kv7 channels critically determine coronary artery reactivity: left-right differences and down-regulation by hyperglycaemia

Daniel Morales-Cano, Laura Moreno, Bianca Barreira, Rachele Pandolfi, Virginia Chamorro, Rosario Jimenez, Eduardo Villamor, Juan Duarte, Francisco Perez-Vizcaino, Angel Cogolludo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Web of Science)


Aims Voltage-gated potassium channels encoded by KCNQ genes (Kv7 channels) are emerging as important regulators of vascular tone. In this study, we analysed the contribution of Kv7 channels to the vasodilation induced by hypoxia and the cyclic AMP pathway in the coronary circulation. We also assessed their regional distribution and possible impairment by diabetes. Methods and results We examined the effects of Kv7 channel modulators on K+ currents and vascular reactivity in rat left and right coronary arteries (LCAs and RCAs, respectively). Currents from LCA were more sensitive to Kv7 channel inhibitors (XE991, linopirdine) and activators (flupirtine, retigabine) than those from RCA. Accordingly, LCAs were more sensitive than RCAs to the relaxation induced by Kv7 channel enhancers. Likewise, relaxation induced by the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and hypoxia, which were mediated through Kv7 channel activation, were greater in LCA than in RCA. KCNQ1 and KCNQ5 expression was markedly higher in LCA than in RCA. After incubation with high glucose (HG, 30 mmol/L), myocytes from LCA, but not from RCA, were more depolarized and showed reduced Kv7 currents. In HG-incubated LCA, the effects of Kv7 channel modulators and forskolin were diminished, and the expression of KCNQ1 and KCNQ5 was reduced. Finally, vascular responses induced by Kv7 channel modulators were impaired in LCA, but not in RCA, from type 1 diabetic rats. Conclusion Our results reveal that the high expression and function of Kv7 channels in the LCA and their down-regulation by diabetes critically determine the sensitivity to key regulators of coronary tone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-108
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Ion channels
  • Potassium channels
  • Vascular
  • Hypoxia
  • Diabetes mellitus

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