Differential sensitivity to endothelin in canine arteries and veins

V. M. Miller, K. Komori, J. C. Burnett, P. M. Vanhoutte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Experiments were designed to compare the sensitivity of venous and arterial smooth muscle to endothelin and to determine whether contractions to the peptide could be inhibited by endothelium-derived relaxing factor and nitric oxide. Rings of canine left anterior descending coronary, femoral, and mesenteric arteries and femoral and saphenous veins with and without endothelium were suspended for measurement of isometric force. In the presence of indomethacin, phentolamine, and propranolol, endothelin initiated concentration-dependent increases in tension in all rings. The veins were more sensitive to the peptide than were the arteries. Endothelin depolarized the smooth muscle of the saphenous veins and mesenteric arteries; the threshold concentration for depolarization was ~ 100 times lower in the veins (10-10 M) than in the arteries (10-8 M). Removal of the endothelium enhanced the sensitivity only of venous smooth muscle to endothelin. However, stimulation of the endothelium in the arteries with either acetylcholine or the calcium ionophore A23187 rapidly inhibited the maximal tension developed to the peptide. Nitric oxide inhibited contractions to endothelin in arteries and veins without endothelium; the inhibition was greater in the arteries than in the veins. These results indicate that venous smooth muscle is more sensitive than arterial smooth muscle to endothelin. In both blood vessels, endothelium-derived relaxin factor(s) can inhibit contractions to the peptide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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