Aging diminishes myogenic tone in arterioles from skeletal muscle. Recent evidence indicates that both large-conductance Ca2+-activated (BKCa) and voltage-dependent (KV) K+ channels mediate negative feedback control of the myogenic response. Thus we tested the hypothesis that aging increases the contributions of KV and BK Ca channels to myogenic regulation of vascular tone. Because myogenic responsiveness differs between oxidative and glycolytic muscles, we predicted that KV and BKCa channel contributions to myogenic responsiveness vary with fiber type. Myogenic responses of first-order arterioles from the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of 4- and 24-mo-old Fischer 344 rats were evaluated in the presence and absence of 4-aminopyridine (5 mM) or iberiotoxin (30 nM), inhibitors of KV and BKCa, respectively. 4-Aminopyridine enhanced myogenic tone with aging and normalized age-related differences in both muscle types. By contrast, iberiotoxin eliminated age-related differences in soleus arterioles and had no effect in gastrocnemius vessels. KV1.5 is an integral component of K V channels in vascular smooth muscle; therefore, we determined the relative protein expression of KV1.5, as well as BKCa, in soleus and gastrocnemius arterioles. Immunoblot analysis revealed no differences in KV1.5 protein with aging or between variant fiber types, whereas BKCa protein levels declined with age in arterioles from both muscle groups. Collectively, these results suggest that the contribution of BK Ca to myogenic regulation of vascular tone changes with age in soleus muscle arterioles, whereas increased KV channel expression and negative feedback regulation of myogenic tone increases with advancing age in arterioles from both oxidative and glycolytic muscles.
- Calcium-activated potassium channel
- Delayed rectifier potassium channel