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

Urotensin II-induced hypotensive responses in Wistar-Kyoto (Wky) and spontaneously hypertensive (Shr) rats.

Human urotensin II (hU-II) is a potent vasoactive peptide which modulates some of the functions of the cardiovascular and other systems. The in vivo mechanism of action by which hU-II may influence blood pressure in developmental and pathological conditions, is poorly understood. Herein, the blood pressure effects of hU-II (0.1-10 nmol/kg) injected intravenously (i.v.) were studied on ketamine/xylazine anesthetized male WKY and SHR rats aged 4 and 8 weeks. hU-II elicited dose-dependent decreases in mean arterial pressure in both strains of animals. The hypotensive responses to hU-II were, however, significantly higher in SHR rats, independently of age. Four-week-old SHR rats (which are normotensive) were, however, less responsive than their hypertensive 8-week-old counterparts. A series of pharmacological inhibitors were used to identify putative endogenous (endothelial) factors that might account for the hU-II-mediated hypotension in 8-week-old SHR. These include the non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitor L-NAME (5 micromol/kg), the non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitor meclofenamate (16 micromol/kg), the voltage-sensitive and ATP-sensitive K+-channel inhibitors, 4-aminopyridine (5 micromol/kg) and glybenclamide (10 micromol/kg), the cytochrome P450 CYP2C9 inhibitor sulfaphenazole (15 micromol/kg), the cytoskeletal fixation agent phalloidin (15 micromol/kg), the endothelin ETB receptor antagonist BQ-788(35 micromol/kg), the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist HOE 140 (0.5 micromol/kg), the angiotensin AT2 antagonist PD 123319(10 micromol/kg) and the UT receptor antagonist urantide (10 micromol/kg). These agents were administered i.v. either at 2.5, 10 or 40 min prior hU-II injection (10 nmol/kg). Among these inhibitors, sulfaphenazole and phalloidin were able to reduce hU-II-induced hypotension. This suggests that the vasodepressor effect of hU-II is mediated by UT receptors and relies in part on the release of epoxide related products; increased microvascular permeability may also contribute to the blood pressure lowering effect of hU-II. Since urantide blocks the constrictor effects of hU-II on isolated aorta, but is inactive against the hypotensive action of hU-II in vivo, the results presented in this paper provide, for the first time, evidence for the existence of two different functional sites for hU-II.[1]


  1. Urotensin II-induced hypotensive responses in Wistar-Kyoto (Wky) and spontaneously hypertensive (Shr) rats. Gendron, G., Gobeil, F., Bélanger, S., Gagnon, S., Regoli, D., D'Orléans-Juste, P. Peptides (2005) [Pubmed]
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