Dilator actions of endothelin in coronary resistance vessels and the abdominal aorta of the guinea pig

Anne Folta, Irving G. Joshua, R. Clinton Webb

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34 Scopus citations


Endothelin has been characterized as a potent constricting factor. The purpose of this study was to investigate possible dilator effects of this peptide and to examine whether dilator responses occur through an endothelium-mediated mechanism in guinea pig coronary resistance vessels and isolated aortic rings. Changes in perfusion pressure after bolus injections of endothelin were measured using a constant-flow modified Langendorff preparation with a transducer between the flow pump and the heart. An immediate fall in perfusion pressure, averaging 6 mmHg, was observed after injection of endothelin (10-14-10-12 moles). This effect was maximal at 1 minute and tended to return toward baseline levels within 4 minutes. In response to endothelin (10-9 M), isolated aortic rings relaxed 35% after being contracted with prostaglandin F (10-7 M). In both preparations, dilation was converted to constriction after endothelium damage by oxygen radicals or endothelium removal (mechanical rubbing). Dilator responses to endothelin were blocked by pretreatment for 30 minutes with indomethacin (14 μM) in the presence of an intact endothelium in coronary resistance vessels, whereas in the abdominal aorta they were not. We conclude that endothelin has significant dilator properties and that this effect is opposed by its constrictor action at higher doses. In addition, dilator responses to endothelin require an intact endothelium in both coronary vessels and abdominal aorta. Finally, endothelin-induced dilation in coronary resistance vessels appears to occur through a cyclooxygenase product-mediated mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2627-2635
Number of pages9
JournalLife sciences
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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