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      High-Dose, Not Low-Dose Insulin Increases the Vasoconstrictor Effect of Norepinephrine in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats: Effects of Antihypertensive Treatment

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          The effect of insulin on the vasoconstriction induced by norepinephrine is presently controversial. Therefore, the aims of our study were: (1) to evaluate the effect of low- and high-dose insulin on the concentration-response curve to norepinephrine in small resistance arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) before and after the development of hypertension, and (2) to evaluate the effects of antihypertensive treatment on vascular response to insulin and norepinephrine. Fifty-six rats were included in the study. Six SHR were treated with enalapril and 6 with candesartan cilexetil from the 4th to the 12th week of age, while 10 WKY and 14 SHR were kept untreated. Two additional groups of 10 untreated SHR and 10 WKY were killed at 4 weeks of age, in a prehypertensive phase. Mesenteric small arteries were dissected and mounted on a micromyograph. A dose-response curve to norepinephrine was performed at cumulative concentrations in the presence or absence of low- and high-dose insulin. We found that only high-dose insulin increased the vascular response to norepinephrine in 12-week-old SHR, but not in 4-week-old SHR or in age-matched WKY. The increased responsiveness to norepinephrine disappeared after preincubation of the vessels with a selective inhibitor of endothelin-1 type A receptors. After antihypertensive treatment with enalapril or candesartan cilexetil, the potentiation of the vasoconstrictor response to norepinephrine was abolished. In conclusion, insulin at high, nonphysiological doses seems to induce an increase in the reactivity to norepinephrine in mesenteric small arteries of SHR, possibly mediated by a local production of endothelin-1. Antihypertensive treatment with an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker may normalize this altered response. This mechanism may be relevant in the development of hypertension in SHR.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Enhanced expression of endothelin-1 gene in resistance arteries in severe human essential hypertension.

          Endothelins are potent vasoconstrictors, and may also act as mitogens and hypertrophic agents. Expression of a member of this family of peptides, endothelin-1, is enhanced in the endothelium of blood vessels of rats with severe forms of hypertension, even in the absence of elevated plasma endothelin levels. In some of these hypertensive models enhanced endothelin-1 gene expression may contribute to vascular hypertrophy of small arteries and to elevation of blood pressure.
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            Effects of candesartan cilexetil and enalapril on structural alterations and endothelial function in small resistance arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats.

            It was previously observed that a significant regression of structural alterations and endothelial dysfunction in mesenteric small arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) may be obtained after therapy with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. It is not clear whether angiotensin II-type 1 receptor blockers may share this properties. We evaluated the effects of the ACE inhibitor enalapril and of the angiotensin II-receptor blocker candesartan cilexetil on structural alterations of mesenteric small resistance arteries, on cardiac mass, and on endothelial function in SHRs. Seventy-three rats were included in the study. Sixteen SHRs were treated with enalapril and 21 with candesartan cilexetil, whereas 18 Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and 18 SHRs were untreated. Enalapril and candesartan cilexetil were administered in the drinking water from weeks 4 to 12 of age. Blood pressure was measured noninvasively every week. The rats were killed at the end of the treatment period, after 3 or 4 days of therapeutic washout. Heart weight/body weight ratio (HW/BW) was measured. Mesenteric arterioles were dissected and mounted on a micromyograph (Mulvany's technique). Then the media-to-lumen ratio (M/L) was evaluated. In addition, endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent relaxation was evaluated by dose-response curves to acetylcholine (in the presence or absence of a bradykinin-receptor blocker and of indomethacin) and sodium nitroprusside. Systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced by both drugs, compared with untreated SHRs, although the hypotensive effect was greater with enalapril than with candesartan cilexetil. A significant reduction of M/L of mesenteric small arteries and of HW/BW was observed in SHRs treated with candesartan cilexetil or enalapril. A significant improvement of endothelial function, as evaluated by a dose-response to acetylcholine, was observed. The acetylcholine-induced vasodilatation was similar after addition to the organ bath of a selective blocker of bradykinin receptors, thus suggesting a minor role (if any) of the increased local availability of bradykinin, as a consequence of inhibition of ACE, in the improvement of endothelial function observed after enalapril treatment. In addition to a satisfactory antihypertensive effect observed with both drugs, candesartan cilexetil and enalapril were proven to be equally effective in reducing structural alterations in mesenteric small resistance arteries, in normalizing cardiac mass, and in improving endothelial function. The inhibition of bradykinin breakdown does not seem to be involved in the improvement of endothelial dysfunction observed with ACE inhibitors.
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              Role of endothelium in the endothelin-1-mediated potentiation of the norepinephrine response in the aorta of hypertensive rats.

              To investigate the role of the endothelium in the functional interaction between endothelin-1 and norepinephrine in the contractile response of aortas from Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).

                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                October 1999
                28 October 1999
                : 36
                : 5
                : 393-403
                Chair of Internal Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Brescia, Italy
                25679 J Vasc Res 1999;36:393–403
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 2, References: 47, Pages: 11
                Research Paper


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