We investigated the in vivo vasoconstrictor effect of endothelin, a recently characterized vasoconstrictor peptide from vascular endothelium, in the basilar arteries of five cats and five dogs. Basilar artery caliber was angiographically measured under anesthesia before (control) and after either vertebral artery infusion or cisternal injection of the peptide. In cats, 5-500 pmol endothelin induced a dose-dependent basilar artery contraction in vivo when injected intracisternally;within 3 minutes after injection of 500 pmol endothelin, basilar artery caliber was decreased by 73±4% compared with control diameter before injection. The vasoconstriction was extremely long-lasting;no significant recovery of basilar artery caliber was observed for up to 2 hours after injection. In contrast, infusion of up to 3,000 pmol endothelin into the vertebral artery had no appreciable effect on basilar artery caliber. Similar results were obtained in dogs;vasoconstriction was maintained for as long as 12 hours. Our observations suggest that endothelin acts in cerebral vessels from the adventitial side, not from the luminal side, possibly due to the presence of the blood-arterial wall barrier. The long-lasting nature of endothelin-induced constriction of the cerebral arteries in vivo suggests that the peptide might be involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral vasospasm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing