Enhanced vasodilator responses to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in subcutaneous arteries in human hypertension.
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Isolated segments (1-2 mm) of small subcutaneous arteries (diameter 0.1-0.9 mm) and veins (0.1-1.0 mm) from patients with hypertension (essential n = 13, renovascular n = 6) and controls (n = 17) were examined. The relaxant responses to the sensory transmitters calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P, and the contractile responses to potassium and noradrenaline were studied. Enhanced dilatory responses (E(max)) but no change in sensitivity (pEC50) were demonstrated in the arteries but not in the veins to CGRP in hypertensives (P < 0.01) as compared with normotensives, and in the hypertensive subgroups (essential hypertension, P < 0.05; renovascular hypertension, P< 0.05). The relaxant responses to substance P were not altered either in arteries or in veins of hypertensives. Furthermore, there were no differences in the contractile responses to 60 mM potassium or to 10 microM noradrenaline between the groups. The results suggest that the enhanced vasodilator response to CGRP in hypertension is an adaptive reaction. The elevated blood pressure may be augmented by vasodilatory activity since different subgroups of hypertensives showed the same results. However, other common characteristics of hypertension (eg, medication, metabolic disturbances) may have also influenced the results.