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The rationale for the therapeutic use of dual as opposed to selective endothelin (ET) receptor antagonists stems in part from cross-talk between the ET(A) and ET(B) receptors. However, whether ET(A)-ET(B) receptor cross-talk is present in the cerebral vasculature is difficult to discern since findings of cross-talk contrast even among the few reports available. Thus, this study tested whether ET(A)-ET(B) receptor cross-talk is present in the rat basilar artery. In an in situ cranial window, 0.1 μM sarafotoxin S6c, an ET(B) receptor agonist, relaxed basilar artery basal tone by 54%. ET-1 (3 nM) in the absence and presence of 10 μM BQ123, an ET(A) receptor agonist, induced 13% contraction and 15% relaxation, respectively. In contrast, the 3-nM ET-1 plateau contraction was relaxed by only ∼50% by 3-10 μM BQ123 and 10 μM BQ610, ET(A) receptor antagonists. N(ω)-nitro-L: -arginine, an NO synthase inhibitor, did not enhance contraction to 3 nM ET-1, suggesting that the partial relaxation of the ET-1 plateau contraction did not involve unmasked endothelial ET(B) receptor-mediated relaxation. The ∼50% ET-1 contraction that remained following ET(A) receptor antagonist was relaxed by 3-10 μM BQ788, consistent with an ET(B) receptor-mediated component of contraction. However, 10 μM BQ788 in the absence of prior ET(A) receptor antagonist did not cause relaxation. Subsequent BQ123 addition in the presence of BQ788 completely relaxed the ET-1 contraction. PD145065 (1 μM), an ET(A/B) receptor antagonist, completely relaxed 3-nM ET-1 contracted vessels in both the absence and presence of BQ123. These findings suggest that the inability of ET(A) receptor antagonist to completely relax the ET-1 plateau contraction in rat basilar artery is due to ET(A)-ET(B) receptor cross-talk.


SeongHun Yoon, Mario Zuccarello, Robert M Rapoport. EndothelinA-endothelinB receptor cross-talk in rat basilar artery in situ. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology. 2012 Apr;385(4):437-41

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PMID: 22258095

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