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Activities of endothelin-1 in the vascular network of the rabbit ear: a microangiographic study

Randall, Michael D., Edwards, David Hughes and Griffith, Tudor M. 1990. Activities of endothelin-1 in the vascular network of the rabbit ear: a microangiographic study. British Journal of Pharmacology 101 (4) , pp. 781-788. 10.1111/j.1476-5381.1990.tb14157.x

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1 The effects of endothelin-1 on perfusion pressure and on arterial and venous diameters were examined simultaneously in a rabbit isolated ear preparation perfused with physiological buffer. The effects of hypoxia and inhibition of endothelium-derived relaxant factor (EDRF) activity on vascular responses to endothelin-1 were also investigated. 2 Endothelin-1 was potent at increasing perfusion pressure (ED50 = 46.7 ± 11.0 pmol; Rmax = 85.3 ± 5.3 mmHg). The potency and maximum reactivity were not significantly affected by hypoxia, inhibition of EDRF activity with 50 μm N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (NAME) or a combination of hypoxia and NAME. 3 Endothelin-1 caused equipotent dose-dependent constrictions of the first four generations of arterial branch vessels (G1-G4) but did not influence the diameter of the central ear artery except at high doses of the peptide when ‘paradoxical dilatation’ was observed. The peptide was also equipotent at causing constriction of the smaller venous vessels (V1-V4) but did not affect the large veins (V0). 4 Under conditions of hypoxia the potency of endothelin-1 was reduced in G2 and G3, was unaffected in G4 and the peptide did not significantly constrict either G0 or G1. Hypoxia reduced the potency of endothelin-1 in the smaller venous vessels (V1-V4), but conversely unmasked a marked constriction of the large veins (V0), which was not observed under normoxic conditions. 5 NAME 50 μm abolished the vasodilator effects of acetylcholine in this preparation. Inhibition of EDRF activity with NAME under normoxic conditions did not influence the constrictor activity of endothelin-1 on the arterial or venous branch vessels. However, inhibition of EDRF activity under hypoxic conditions prevented the reduction of potency of endothelin-1 as a constrictor of arterial and venous branch vessels which occurred in hypoxia. In the presence of NAME endothelin-1 constricted V0 in both normoxia and hypoxia with equipotency but the maximum effect was greatest in hypoxia. 6 In conclusion, endothelin-1 is a powerful vasoconstrictor which acts with greater potency in veins than arteries in the rabbit isolated ear. Although hypoxia does not influence pressor responses it nevertheless alters the spatial pattern of vasoconstriction. In particular hypoxia unmasks constriction of the large veins by endothelin-1. Constriction of these veins was also observed in the absence of EDRF in normoxia, but to a much lesser degree so that the effect of hypoxia may only be partially due to reduced EDRF activity. Hypoxia may therefore directly or indirectly increase the sensitivity of the main veins to endothelin-1.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-1188
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:59

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