Regional variation in appearance of vascular contractile endothelin-B receptors following organ culture

M Adner, E Uddman, L O Cardell, L Edvinsson

51 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the appearance of contractile endothelin (ET)-B receptors following organ culture in different vascular regions.

METHOD: The contractile responses of vascular smooth muscle induced by ET-1 and the selective ETB receptor agonist sarafotoxin 6c (S6c) were investigated in circular segments representing eight vascular regions in the rat (aorta, femoral artery, mesenteric artery, branch of the mesenteric artery, proximal and distal parts of the caudal artery, femoral and mesenteric veins). To allow the ETB receptor to be expressed, the segments were placed in organ culture for 1 to 5 days. Pharmacological characterisation of the ET receptors was performed in mesenteric arterial segments. All contractile responses were measured in percentage of K(+)-induced contraction.

RESULTS: ET-1 induced strong concentration-dependent contractions of all fresh (not cultured) segments. S6c had negligible effects on all fresh vessels with the exception of the mesenteric vein, where a small contraction was seen. After 1 day of organ culture all tested segments, with the exception of aorta and the proximal part of the caudal artery, showed concentration-dependent contractile responses to S6c which were further augmented after 5 days of culture. The ET-1-induced responses were only slightly affected by organ culture. Contractions induced by S6c were more enhanced in small arteries and veins than in larger arteries. Furthermore, the S6c-induced response was more pronounced in the mesenteric region as compared to the hindlimb. In fresh mesenteric arterial segments FR139317 (ETA receptor antagonist) and bosentan (ETA/ETB receptor antagonist) but not IRL 2500 (ETB receptor antagonist) shifted the ET-1-induced concentration-response curve in parallel to the right. In contrast, after organ culture the S6c-induced concentration-response curves were shifted parallel to the right in the following potency order: IRL 2500 > bosentan > FR139317.

CONCLUSION: During normal conditions, the ETA receptor is the dominating mediator of endothelin-induced contraction in eight different vascular regions. Furthermore, this study indicates that most of the vessels have the ability to develop contractile ETB receptors and that this plasticity differs in vascular regions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)254-62
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Aorta
  • Endothelin-1
  • Femoral Artery
  • Femoral Vein
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries
  • Mesenteric Veins
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Receptors, Endothelin
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tail
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Viper Venoms


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