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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of endothelin-converting enzyme inhibitors on big endothelin-1 induced contraction in isolated rat basilar artery.

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate whether blocking functional endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) activity may offer a new approach to inhibit the development of cerebral vasopasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) by preventing transformation of big Endothelin-1 (big ET-1) to vasoactive Endothelin-1 (ET-1). METHODS: In vitro, the effect of potential ECE inhibitors was determined by measurement of isometric contractions, induced by big ET-1, in isolated rat basilar arteries. Endothelium intact (E+) and de-endothelialized (E-) segments were examined after pre-incubated with the putative ECE inhibitors: Phosphoramidon (10(-4) M), Captopril (10(-3) M and 10(-4) M) and [(22)D-Val] big ET-1 (16-38) (10(-5) M and 10(-6) M). RESULTS: Application of 10(-4) M Phosphoramidon resulted in a statistically significant decrease in big ET-1 induced contraction in endothelium intact (E+) and de-endothelialized (E-) segments; 10(-3) M Captopril in E- segments caused a statistically significant inhibitory effect; 10(-4) M and 10(-3) M Captopril in E+ segments showed no statistically significant effect; 10(-5) M and 10(-6) M [(22)D-Val] big ET-1 (16-38) in E- segments produced no statistically significant effect. The application of 10(-6) M [(22)D-Val] big ET-1 (16-38) in E+ segments caused increased contractions as shown by the shift to the left of the concentration-effect curve (CEC). CONCLUSION: The present study indicates the existence of functional ECE activity in rat basilar artery, which is different in the endothelium and the smooth muscle layer. This ECE-activity could be inhibited by Captopril and Phosporamidon, suggesting a potency for prevention and therapy of cerebral vasospasm. However, the structural analogue of big ET-1, [(22)D-Val] big ET-1 (16-38), was ineffective in reducing big ET-1 induced vasoconstriction and rather increased contraction in E+ vessels. Therefore further studies of the biochemical nature of the functional relevant cerebrovascular ECE activity are required for better understanding and development of other efficient ECE inhibitors.[1]


  1. Effect of endothelin-converting enzyme inhibitors on big endothelin-1 induced contraction in isolated rat basilar artery. Zimmermann, M., Jung, C.S., Vatter, H., Raabe, A., Seifert, V. Acta neurochirurgica. (2002) [Pubmed]
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