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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2001 Nov;91(5):2407-11; discussion 2389-90.

Selected contribution: Gender differences in the endothelin-B receptor contribution to basal cutaneous vascular tone in humans.

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Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital Division, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA.


To test whether the contribution of endothelin-B (ET-B) receptors to resting vascular tone differs between genders, we administered the ET-B receptor antagonist BQ-788 into the forearm skin of 11 male and 11 female subjects by intradermal microdialysis. Skin blood flow was measured using laser-Doppler flowmetry at the microdialysis site. The probe was perfused with Ringer solution alone, followed by BQ-788 (150 nM) and finally sodium nitroprusside (28 mM) to effect maximal cutaneous vasodilation. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated (laser-Doppler flowmetry/mean arterial pressure) and normalized to maximal levels (%max). In male subjects, baseline CVC was (mean +/- SE) 19 +/- 3%max and increased to 26 +/- 5%max with BQ-788 (P < 0.05 vs. baseline). In female subjects, baseline CVC was 13 +/- 1%max and decreased to 10 +/- 1%max in response to BQ-788. CVC responses to BQ-788 differed with gender (P < 0.05); thus the contribution of ET-B receptors to resting cutaneous vascular tone differs between men and women. In men, ET-B receptors mediate tonic vasoconstriction, whereas, in women, ET-B receptors mediate tonic vasodilation.

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