The aim of this study was to examine if endothelin ET(B) receptor-mediated contraction occurred in isolated segments of rat coronary arteries during organ culture. Presence of contractile endothelin ET(B) receptors was studied by measuring the change in isometric tension in rings of left anterior descending coronary arteries isolated from hearts of rats as response to application of the selective endothelin ET(B) receptor agonist, Sarafotoxin 6c and endothelin-1. In segments cultured 1 day in serum free Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium, Sarafotoxin 6c induced a concentration dependent contraction with a pEC(50) value of 10.4+/-0.21 and a maximal response of 3.9+/-0.25 mN/mm (n=15). The maximal contraction was significantly larger than the responses measured in fresh tissue, where the mean value of the maximal contractions was 0.22+/-0.03 mN/mm (n=17). The increased contraction to Sarafotoxin 6c after culturing could be eliminated with addition of the transcriptional blocker, actinomycin D, to the culture medium or be significantly attenuated by application of the translational inhibitor, cycloheximide. The vasoconstrictor effect of endothelin-1 or to depolarisation by high K(+)-solution was not modified after 1 day in culture medium. The experiments indicate that organ culture of rat coronary arteries upregulate endothelin ET(B) receptor-mediated contraction by inducing synthesis of new protein.
European Journal of Pharmacology, 2006, Vol 539, Issue 3, p. 192-4