Background. Angiotensin II and endothelin-1 are potent endothelium-derived contracting factors. The effects of acute endothelin antagonism on endothelial function in saphenous vein from patients treated with and without angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were compared. Methods. Vascular segments of saphenous vein were obtained perioperatively from 14 patients on angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and 29 controls. In vitro endothelium-dependent and -independent responses to acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside were assessed by constructing isometric dose-response curves in precontracted rings in the presence and absence of bosentan (endothelinA/B receptor antagonist) and BQ-123 (endothelinA antagonist) using isolated organ baths. Percent maximum relaxation and sensitivity were compared between interventions. Results. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was augmented in the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-treated group (p < 0.005). Both specific and mixed endothelin receptor blockade improved acetylcholine-mediated relaxation in the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor-treated and untreated groups (p < 0.02). The effects of these antagonists were endothelium specific as endothelium-independent responses to sodium nitroprusside remain unaltered. Conclusions. These data demonstrate that (1) chronic angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition improves endothelial function in saphenous veins, and (2) this effect can be further augmented by acute endothelin blockade. These data suggest that antagonism of both angiotensin II and endothelin may be important in attenuating saphenous vein arteriosclerosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine