The effect of lysolecithin (lysophosphatidylcholine) on the relaxation of rabbit aortic strip closely resembled that produced by acetylcholine (ACh) which releases the endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF). Relaxation induced by lysolecithin depended on the presence of endothelium and was inhibited by hemoglobin and methylene blue. It appeared to be mediated by the second messenger, c-GMP. Lysolecithin induced relaxation was slower but more persistent than that resulting from the endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) produced by acetylcholine (ACh). Like lysolecithin, Triton X-100, a non-ionic detergent, also preferentially relaxed aortic strips with intact endothelium. The results demonstrate the importance of phospholipids derived from cell membranes in vascular smooth muscle relaxation. Endothelium-derived relaxing factors appear as a group of heterogeneous substances.

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