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Role of endothelin-1 receptors in healthy anaesthetized rabbits

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1. Many diseases are associated with elevated endothelin (ET)-1 plasma concentrations. In order to understand the consequence of this elevation, in the present study the effects of exogenous ET-1 on the entire organsim were investigated, in particular with respect to the role of ETA and ETB receptors in the cardiovascular system. In open-chest rabbits, left ventricular (LV) pressure (LVPmax, LVPed), dP/dtmax and dP/dtmin were recorded in ejecting and isovolumically beating hearts to determine cardiac function. In addition, heart rate (HR), aortic pressure (AoP) and aortic flow (AoF) were measured. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was calculated from mean AoP and AoF.

2. In the first series of experiments (n = 11), ET-1 (0.5 nmol/kg; bolus) produced a non-significant reduction in HR. Systolic function, in terms of AoF, LVPmax and dP/dtmax, was improved; for example, LVPmax was increased significantly (69 ± 10 vs 106 ± 20 mmHg for control and ET-1, respectively; P < 0.05). Similarly, early relaxation (dP/dtmin) was improved. In parallel, TPR rose significantly (0.25±0.07 vs 0.35±0.1 mmHg/min per mL for control and ET-1, respectively; P < 0.05). Isovolumic measurements showed corresponding responses.

3. In the second series of experiments (n = 7), animals were pretreated with an ETA receptor antagonist (330 nmol/min per kg FR 139317). After ETA receptor blockade, the administration of ET-1 had no significant effect on cardiac function or vasomotion.

4. In the third series of experiments (n = 6), animals were pretreated with an ETB receptor antagonist (10 nmol/min per kg BQ 788). In this series of experiments, the effects of ET-1 on cardiac function and vasomotion were the same as in the first series of experiments, except for the effect on HR, which decreased by 35% after ET-1.

5. In our experimental model, exogenous ET-1 exerted a clear-cut positive inotropic effect, together with the anticipated peripheral vasoconstriction via ETA receptors.
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Keywords: cardiac function; circulatory system; endothelin; endothelin receptors; inotropism; rabbit; vasomotion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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