Nicotine increases heart adenosine release, oxygen consumption, and contractility

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Physiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Acetylcholine; Adenosine; Animals; Atropine; Heart; Heart Ventricles; Kinetics; Male; Myocardial Contraction; Myocardium; Nicotine; Oxygen Consumption; Perfusion; Propranolol; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains


Cardiovascular Diseases | Physiology


The effect of nicotine on adenosine release, oxygen consumption, and contractility was investigated in perfused rat hearts. Continuous infusion of nicotine into the perfusing physiological saline (PS) elicited a propranolol (10(-6) M) sensitive transient elevation of developed left ventricular pressure (LVP) and maximum rates of left ventricular pressure development and relaxation (+/- dP/dtmax) within 20 s, which subsequently declined to maintained elevated plateau levels by 1 min. The continuous infusions of nicotine to achieve PS concentrations of 5 X 10(-4), 1 X 10(-4), or 5 X 10(-5) M, respectively resulted in significant increases in the mean plateau levels of LVP (33.4, 10.1, or 6.3%), +dP/dtmax (26.3, 10.8, or 6.9%) and-dP/dtmax (35.0, 11.9, or 9.0%) at 1 min. The inclusion of propranolol (10(-6) M) with or without atropine (10(-6) M) did not alter these maintained plateau responses to nicotine. During the plateau phase of the contractile response oxygen consumption of the hearts was significantly elevated by 36, 19, or 11%, and mean levels for adenosine in the coronary effluent rose by 261, 76, or 74% in response to 5 X 10(-4), 1 X 10(-4), or 5 X 10(-5) M nicotine, respectively. Nicotine did not influence [14C]adenosine uptake by the hearts. These results suggest that nicotine is capable of 1) augmenting cardiac contractility and oxygen consumption independent of beta-adrenergic or muscarinic influence, and 2) elevating the appearance of adenosine in the coronary circulation presumably by enhancing myocardial production of the nucleoside.


Am J Physiol. 1985 Sep;249(3 Pt 2):H463-9.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of physiology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID