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Circulation. 1995 Feb 1;91(3):771-5.

In vivo evidence of an endothelin-induced vasopressor tone after inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis in rats.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology, Rouen University Medical School, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Continuous production of nitric oxide (NO) from endothelial cells permanently inhibits the synthesis and the vasoconstrictor effects of endothelin. Thus, inhibition of NO synthesis might unmask a vasopressor response to endothelin. To assess whether endothelin contributes to the pressor response induced by inhibition of NO synthesis, we tested whether bosentan, a nonpeptide antagonist of ETA and ETB endothelin receptors, affected the hypertensive response induced by the NO synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Anesthetized rats received increasing doses of L-NAME (0.1 to 3 mg.kg-1) in the absence or the presence of bosentan (3 mg.kg-1 IV 15 minutes before L-NAME). Bosentan itself did not affect blood pressure. L-NAME induced a dose-dependent increase in mean arterial pressure (percent increase from baseline after 3 mg.kg-1, 25 +/- 5%), and this was reduced by bosentan (13 +/- 3%; P < .05) or by the selective ETA antagonist BQ-123 (3 mg.kg-1: controls, 25 +/- 4%; BQ-123, 14 +/- 5%; P < .01). In contrast, bosentan did not affect the pressor response to phenylephrine (1 to 100 micrograms.kg-1). The response to L-NAME (3 mg.kg-1) was also reduced by bosentan in ganglion-blocked (chlorisondamine 2.5 mg.kg-1: controls, 89 +/- 10%; bosentan, 45 +/- 7%) or pithed rats (controls, 165 +/- 9%; bosentan, 85 +/- 12%; P < .01). Bosentan also inhibited the pressor response to another inhibitor of NO synthesis, NG-nitro L-arginine (3 mg.kg-1) in normal (controls, 24 +/- 5%; bosentan, 10 +/- 3%; P < .01) or ganglion-blocked (controls, 86 +/- 13%; bosentan, 25 +/- 8%; P < .01) rats. Finally, L-NAME induced a modest increase in plasma levels of endothelin-1 (controls, 26.8 +/- 4.1 pg.mL-1; L-NAME, 38.5 +/- 3.3 pg.mL-1; P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

These experiments demonstrate that inhibition of NO synthesis unmasks a tonic pressor influence of endothelin, suggesting that this peptide could play a major role in pathophysiological situations associated with an impaired formation of NO.

PMID:
7828305
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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