Selective increase of the contractile response to endothelin-1 in subcutaneous arteries from patients with essential hypertension
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Endothelin-1 has been shown to contribute to basal vascular tone in man. Since endothelin-1 is a potent vasoconstrictor putatively involved in hypertension, we have compared the contractile responses of endothelin-1 and noradrenaline in relation to potassium chloride in subcutaneous resistance arteries from subjects with established essential hypertension with matched controls. Furthermore, with RT-PCR, the occurrence of mRNA for the ETA and ET(B) receptors was shown in the tunica media layer of subcutaneous arteries in controls and hypertensives. The maximum contractile response to endothelin-1 was significantly higher in the subcutaneous arteries of the hypertensives (by 88% with no change in potency) as compared to controls. The responses to noradrenaline, acetylcholine and potassium chloride did not differ between the groups. This selective increase in the contractile response to endothelin-1 might contribute to the development of essential hypertension.