Agonist-dependent modulation of arterial endothelin A receptor function

M G Compeer, M J P M T Meens, T M Hackeng, W A Neugebauer, C Höltke, J G R De Mey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Endothelin-1 (ET-1) causes long-lasting vasoconstrictions. These can be prevented by ET(A) receptor antagonists but are only poorly reversed by these drugs. We tested the hypothesis that endothelin ET(A) receptors are susceptible to allosteric modulation by endogenous agonists and exogenous ligands. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Rat isolated mesenteric resistance arteries were pretreated with capsaicin and studied in wire myographs, in the presence of L-NAME and indomethacin to concentrate on arterial smooth muscle responses. KEY RESULTS Endothelins caused contractions with equal maximum but differing potency (ET-1 = ET-2 > ET-3). ET-1(1-15) neither mimicked nor antagonized these effects in the absence and presence of ET(16-21). 4(Ala) ET-1 (ET(B) agonist) and BQ788 (ET(B) antagonist) were without effects. BQ123 (peptide ET(A) antagonist) reduced the sensitivity and relaxed the contractile responses to endothelins. Both effects depended on the agonist (pK(B): ET-3 = ET-1 > ET-2; % relaxation: ET-3 = ET-2 > ET-1). Also, with PD156707 (non-peptide ET(A) antagonist) agonist-dependence and a discrepancy between preventive and inhibitory effects were observed. The latter was even more marked with bulky analogues of BQ123 and PD156707. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS These findings indicate allosteric modulation of arterial smooth muscle ET(A) receptor function by endogenous agonists and by exogenous endothelin receptor antagonists. This may have consequences for the diagnosis and pharmacotherapy of diseases involving endothelins.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1833-45
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Carbocyanines
  • Dioxoles
  • Endothelin A Receptor Antagonists
  • Endothelins
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mesenteric Arteries
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Endothelin A


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