Heparin shows blood pressure lowering effect in hypertensive patients and animal models. The present study examined the effect of heparin on vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 (ET-1) production in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (ECs) to elucidate the mechanism of antihypertensive effect of heparin. Heparin suppressed both basal and thrombin-stimulated ET-1 mRNA expression paralleled with a decrease in ET-1 peptide release in a dose-dependent manner. Heparin concomitantly enhanced nitric oxide (NO) formation measured by NO2/NO3 levels and cGMP production in ECs. These enhancements were more marked when ECs were stimulated by thrombin. However, these heparin's effects were blunted in the presence of endothelium-derived nitric oxide (EDNO) synthesizing inhibitor NG-monomethyl L-arginine. Therefore, these results suggest that suppression of ET-1 production by heparin is EDNO mediated.
- Endothelial cell
- Endothelium-derived nitric oxide
- N-monomethyl l-arginine
ASJC Scopus subject areas