Endothelin, an endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide, and angiotensin II were intravenously injected into the femoral vein of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats that had been anesthetized with urethane. Blood pressure and heart rate were recorded from a cannula inserted into the carotid artery. All experiments were carried out after treatment with adrenergic and cholinergic antagonists. Endothelin showed a potent, dose-dependent pressor action. The dose-response relations for the increase in blood pressure of rats receiving endothelin were comparable with those of rats receiving angiotensin II. However, endothelin showed far more long-lasting effects. Endothelin-induced responses consisted of three phases: a rapid and transient depressor phase and then two phases of pressor (transient and long-lasting) response. Nicardipine (0.1 mg/kg), a dihydropyridine Ca2+ channel blocker, markedly attenuated the slow phase of the pressor response but only slightly attenuated the rapid one. The pressors action of endothelin was not inhibited by continuous infusions of saralasin, which almost abolished the angiotensin II-induced pressor response. Endothelin-induced pressor response was also not attenuated by indomethacin, a prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor. These data provide evidence that endothelin produces a unique, potent, and long-lasting pressor response, which appears to be in part related to the activation of Ca2+ channels. In 12-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the maximal pressor response to endothelin was slightly but significantly greater than that in age-matched WKY rats, but the dose dependency of the response was approximately consistent with that in WKY rats. In contrast to the in vivo data the vasocontractile effect of endothelin on the isolated mesenteric artery was more sensitive in 12-week-old SHR than in WKY rats, despite no differences between SHR and WKY rats at 6 weeks of age. The implication of this inconsistency is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine