Paradoxically enhanced endothelin-B receptor-mediated vasoconstriction in conscious old monkeys

Kuniya Asai, Raymond K. Kudej, Gen Takagi, Amelia B. Kudej, Filipinas Natividad, You Tang Shen, Dorothy E. Vatner, Stephen F. Vatner

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16 Scopus citations


Background - We investigated the effects of aging on the responses to endothelin (ET) in conscious old (19.8±0.6 years) and young adult (6.8±0.3 years) monkeys and compared these results with those of other vasoconstrictors, eg, phenylephrine (PE) and angiotensin II (Ang II). Methods and Results - The monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) were chronically instrumented. Baseline total peripheral resistance (TPR) was not different between the 2 groups. As expected, TPR rose less (P<0.05) with PE (5 μg/kg) in old monkeys (34±3%) than in young monkeys (57±6%); TPR also rose less with Ang II. Surprisingly, TPR rose more (P<0.05) with endothelin-1 (ET-1, 25 ng · kg-1 · min-1) in old monkeys (36±6%) than in young monkeys (10±2%). An ETB receptor agonist, sarafotoxin (S6c, 30 ng · kg-1 · min-1) was administered in the presence of an ETA receptor antagonist, BQ-123 (1 mg/kg). Under these conditions, TPR increased more (P<0.05) in old monkeys (59±10%) than in young monkeys (31±4%). In the presence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibition with NW-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (60 mg/kg), vasoconstriction induced by S6c no longer differed with age, because it was enhanced in young monkeys (P<0.05) (68±9% versus 31±4%) but not in old monkeys (58±6% versus 59±10%). Thus, after NOS inhibition, vasoconstrictor responses to ET were no longer enhanced in old monkeys. Conclusions - Peripheral vasoconstriction (PE and Ang II) is reduced in old monkeys, as expected. Paradoxically, vasoconstriction induced by ET-1 was actually enhanced in old monkeys, which appears to be a result of impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, which with ET-1 should involve the ETB receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2382-2386
Number of pages5
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Aging
  • Endothelin
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Receptors
  • Vasocontriction


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