Stimuli of Sensory-Motor Nerves Terminate Arterial Contractile Effects of Endothelin-1 by CGRP and Dissociation of ET-1/ETA-Receptor Complexes

Merlijn J. P. M. T. Meens*, Matthijs G. Compeer, Tilman M. Hackeng, Marc A. van Zandvoort, Ben J. A. Janssen, Jo G. R. De Mey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a long-acting paracrine mediator, is implicated in cardiovascular diseases but clinical trials with ET-receptor antagonists were not successful in some areas. We tested whether the quasi-irreversible receptor-binding of ET-1 (i) limits reversing effects of the antagonists and (ii) can be selectively dissociated by an endogenous counterbalancing mechanism. Methodology/Principal findings: In isolated rat mesenteric resistance arteries, ETA-antagonists, endothelium-derived relaxing factors and synthetic vasodilators transiently reduced contractile effects of ET-1 but did not prevent persistent effects of the peptide. Stimuli of peri-vascular vasodilator sensory-motor nerves such as capsaicin not only reduced but also terminated long-lasting effects of ET-1. This was prevented by CGRP-receptor antagonists and was mimicked by exogenous calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Using 2-photon laser scanning microscopy in vital intact arteries, capsaicin and CGRP, but not ETA-antagonism, were observed to promote dissociation of pre-existing ET-1/ETA-receptor complexes. Conclusions: Irreversible binding and activation of ETA-receptors by ET-1 (i) occur at an antagonist-insensitive site of the receptor and (ii) are selectively terminated by endogenously released CGRP. Hence, natural stimuli of sensory-motor nerves that stimulate release of endogenous CGRP can be considered for therapy of diseases involving ET-1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010

Cite this