Send to

Choose Destination
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Nov;42(12):2949-56.

Effect of endothelin and BQ123 on ocular blood flow parameters in healthy subjects.

Author information

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Vienna University, Austria.



To characterize the role of the endothelin system in the blood flow control of the optic nerve head and of the choroid in humans.


Two studies were performed in healthy subjects. Study 1 was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked, balanced, two-way crossover design and study 2 a three way-way crossover design. In study 1 twelve healthy male subjects received endothelin (ET)-1 in stepwise increasing doses of 1.25, 2.5, and 5 ng/kg x min (each infusion step occurred over 20 minutes) coinfused with BQ123 (60 microg/kg x min) or placebo on two different study days. In study 2 twelve healthy male subjects received two doses of BQ123 (60 or 120 microg/kg x min over 60 minutes) or placebo on three different study days. Measurements of optic nerve head blood flow (ONHBF) and choroidal blood flow (ChBF) were performed with laser Doppler flowmetry in both studies. In study 2 mean flow velocity (MFV) of the ophthalmic artery was assessed with Doppler sonography.


In study 1, ET-1 significantly decreased ONHBF (-22.8% +/- 4.3% at 5 ng/kg x min, P = 0.003 versus baseline) and ChBF (-21.7% +/- 3.2% at 5 ng/kg x min, P = 0.0001 versus baseline). The effect of the highest administered dose of exogenous ET-1 on ONHBF was significantly attenuated (P = 0.04, ANOVA) by coinfusion of BQ123. Effects of exogenous ET-1 on blood flow (2.5 ng/kg x min ET-1 or higher) also were attenuated in the choroid by coinfusion of BQ123 (ChBF: P = 0.03, ANOVA). In study 2, both dosages of BQ123 significantly increased MFV in the ophthalmic artery (60 microg/kg x min, 12.5% +/- 7.3%; 120 microg/kg x min, 17.2% +/- 9.2%, versus baseline; P = 0.001), but did not change blood flow in the ONH or the choroid.


BQ123 antagonizes the effects of exogenously administered ET-1 on blood flow in the ONH and the choroid. The data indicate, however, that ET-1 does not substantially contribute to the regulation of basal vascular tone in these tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center