Ginsenoside $Rg_3$ Increases the ATP-sensitive $K^+$ Channel Activity in the Smooth Muscle of the Rabbit Coronary Artery

  • Chung Induk (Department of Physiology, Hanyang University College of Medicine) ;
  • Lee Jeong-Sun (Department of Physiology, Hanyang University College of Medicine)
  • Published : 1999.12.01


ATP-sensitive $K^+$ channels $(K_{ATP})$ are expressed in vascular smooth muscle cells, skeletal muscle cells, pancreatic ${\beta}$ cells, neurons and epithelial cells. $K_{ATP}$ contributes to regulate membrane potential to control vascular tone, to protect myocardial ischemia, and to regulate insulin secretion in pancreatic ${\beta}$ cells. We previously demonstrated that ginseng saponins and ginsenoside $Rg_3$ activated maxi $Ca^{2+}-activated\;K^+$ channel, and this might cause vasodilation. Because $K_{ATP}$ plays an important roles to regulate the resting membrane potential in vascular smooth muscle cells, we investigated whether ginsenoside $Rg_3$ produces vasodilation by activating $K_{ATP}$ We showed in this study that $K_{ATP}$ is expressed in rabbit coronary artery smooth muscle cells. $K_{ATP}$ was inwardly rectifying and was inhibited by intemal application of ATP. Micromolar minoxidil activated, but glyburide inhibited the activity of $K_{ATP}$ Ginsenoside $Rg_3$ relieved inactivaiton of whole-cell $K_{ATP}$ current without affecting the peak amplitude of $K_{ATP}$ currents presumably due to more opening of the channels.