Potassium channels are involved in testosterone-induced vasorelaxation of human umbilical artery
1. In the rat thoracic aorta, contractions induced by noradrenaline were inhibited by the steroids progesterone, pregnanolone, testosterone and 5 alpha- and 5 beta-dihydrotestosterone. 2. Removal of endothelium did not prevent relaxation to the steroids, suggesting that the vasodilating effect of steroids occurred on the smooth muscle cells. 3. gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) did not modify noradrenaline-induced contraction. Thus, the vasodilation elicited by steroids is not apparently mediated by GABA receptors. 4. On the basis that noradrenaline opens receptor-operated calcium channels to induce contraction, we suggest that relaxation by steroids involves a blockade of this type of channels.