Background: Cyclic flow variations (CFVs) represent repetitive cycles of platelet adherence-aggregation and vasoconstriction, followed by dislodgment of platelet thrombi and restoration of blood flow at the site of vascular injury. Although activation of endothelin A (ETA) and endothelin B (ETB) receptors leads to vasoconstriction and nitric oxide release, respectively, the rules of endogenous endothelin-1 (ET-1) and its receptors in CFVs are unknown. Methods and Results: A side branch of a mesenteric artery of male Wistar rats was cannulated and a short segment of the artery was mechanically injured to induce CFVs. After 20 minutes of saline infusion, either saline (negative control), BQ-123 (ETA receptor antagonist; 10 μg/min), BQ-788 (ETB receptor antagonist, 10 μg/min), or sarafotoxin S6c (ETB receptor agonist, 10 ng/min) was infused for 20 minutes from the side branch into the injured arterial segment. Percent (%) luminal stenosis as well as proximal and distal vessel diameters were observed and quantitatively measured every minute using intravital video microscopy and a micrometer-calibrated video screen. Both BQ-123 and sarafotoxin S6c significantly reduced CFVs represented by the mean luminal stenosis (BQ 123=29 ± 13% and sarafotoxin S6c=27 ± 11% reduction, respectively; P<.05 for both, compared with saline). In contrast, BQ-788 significantly increased CFVs (33 ± 6% increase, P<.05 compared with saline). Moreover, the inhibitory effect of sarafotoxin S6c on CFVs was completely abolished in the presence of N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, 10-5 mol/L) in superfusate over the arteries (16.1 ± 5% increase, P=NS compared with saline in the presence of L-NAME). In addition, BQ-123 caused a significant increase in the diameter of the vessel distal to the injured segment (12 ± 4% increase, P<.05 compared with saline). Conclusions: Endogenous ET-1 release from sites of vascular injury contributes to CFVs and vasomotor tone in the rat mesenteric artery CFV model. ETA and ETB receptors have differential roles in CFVs: ETA receptor antagonism and ETB receptor stimulation reduce CFVs, the latter at least partially through increased nitric oxide formation.
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)