A comparative study of endothelin and sarafotoxin action in vascular and non-vascular smooth muscle

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The effects of endothelin and sarafotoxin on smooth muscle tone have been examined in the rat aorta and anococcygeus muscle and their actions compared to those of norepinephrine. The contractions elicited by endothelin and sarafotoxin (10 nM), or norepinephrine (1 μM) were approximately equieffective in terms of tension development and correspond to EC50 values and these concentrations were thus used throughout the study. In calcium-free Krebs the three agonists generated approximately similar levels of tone in the aorta and the anococcygeus corresponding to 20 and 5% of the maximum response, respectively. Nifedipine, 10 μM, significantly inhibited responses to endothelin and norepinephrine in the aorta but only norepinephrine in anococcygeus; the responses to sarafotoxin were however not significantly affected in either tissue. A combination of 10 μM ryanodine and nifedipine caused near complete inhibition of the response to endothelin in the aorta and also significantly reduced the response to both endothelin and norepinephrine in the anococcygeus. The lipoxgenase inhibitor, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, inhibited the response to endothelin in the aorta and endothelin and norepinephrine in the anococcygeus muscle. The cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin, however, had no effect on the responses to any of the three agonists in either the aorta or anococcygeus. At concentrations greater than 30 nM both endothelin and sarafotoxin induced myogenic activity in normally quiescent anococcygeus muscle. As determined by the loss of myogenic activity the tissues recovered more rapidly from sarafotoxin than endothelin with complete recovery apparent after 2.62 ± 0.85 and 5.22 ± 0.06 h respectively. Omitting Ca2+ from the Krebs solution reduced recovery times to 1.62 ± 0.2 and 2.4 ± 0.51 h respectively. Overall the results suggest that endothelin and sarafotoxin activate different cell signaling systems to differing extents in rat aorta versus anococcygeus suggesting that the membrane receptors mediating the responses to endothelin and sarafotoxin are not necessarily identical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-564
Number of pages6
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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