Exogenous endothelin-1 (ET-1) or high concentrations of the peptide in pathological conditions have marked effects on vascular reactivity. In order to evaluate the role of endogenous ET-1 we investigated responsiveness of conduit (aorta) and of resistant-like (tail artery) vessels in ET-1-deficient rats. Elimination of circulating ET-1 was achieved by active immunization of Wistar rats with a peptide-haemocyanin conjugate (anti-ET-1 group), leading to a marked reduction in plasma level of the peptide in comparison with that of vehicle-treated animals (control group): 1.9 fmol/ml vs 4.9 fmol/ml, respectively. The immunization was associated with a slight elevation of mean arterial pressure, whereas heart rate remained unchanged. In the anti-ET-1 group rings of isolated aorta displayed reduced sensitivity to ET-1: EC50 = 6.57 nM vs 2.95 nM in the control group. Tail arteries of the ET-1-deficient rats showed diminished responses to ET-1, the maximal rise in perfusion pressure: +5.2 mmHg vs +13.6 mmHg in the control group. After immunization, rings of isolated aorta displayed no changes in endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine (Ach, EC50 = 0.20 μM vs 0.35 μM in the control group), whereas experiments on perfused tail artery showed a twofold reduction in Ach effects. Thus, depletion of circulating ET-1 induces slight changes in haemodynamics associated with altered vessel responsiveness to vasoactive substances.
Faculties of *Basic Medicine and of †Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobjovy Gory, and ‡Cardiology Research Center, Moscow, Russia
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mikhail A. Grafov, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Basic Medicine, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobjovy Gory, Moscow, 119899, Russia. E-mail: [email protected]
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.