Effects of endothelin-1 in the isolated heart under ischemic and cardioplegic conditions.
Neubauer S., Ertl G., Pulzer F., Haas U., Hirsch A., Zimmermann S., Kochsiek K.
We examined the effects of the vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1 in isolated hearts under ischemic and cardioplegic conditions. Isolated isovolumic rat hearts were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit buffer at constant pressure. Cumulative dose-response curves were obtained for endothelin-1 boluses of 0.04-400 pmol in four groups of hearts. Coronary flow decreased with increasing dosages and was almost abolished at 400 pmol in control hearts perfused at a constant pressure of 100 mm Hg. In hearts made ischemic by reducing coronary perfusion pressure to 35 mm Hg, thus reducing coronary flow by 76%, the constrictor effect of endothelin-1 was well preserved. The endothelin-1 dose-response curve was unaltered when hearts were perfused with buffer containing 30 mM KCl to abolish mechanical activity without reducing extracellular Ca2+ concentration. A fourth group of hearts was perfused with Ca2(+)-free buffer, thus eliminating the source of extracellular Ca2+ as well as mechanical activity. In this group, the constrictor response to endothelin-1 was largely, but not completely, abolished, with a maximal constrictor effect of only 19% as opposed to 87% in control hearts. We conclude that in isolated rat heart endothelin-1 is a potent coronary constrictor under ischemic perfusion conditions and that absence of mechanical activity does not affect the action of endothelin-1, for which the presence of extracellular Ca2+ is essential. The small residual constrictor response with Ca2(+)-free perfusion is probably due to release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores.