Positive inotropic action of novel vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin on guinea pig atria

T. Ishikawa, M. Yanagisawa, S. Kimura, K. Goto, T. Masaki

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99 Scopus citations


Endothelin (ET), a novel 21-amino acid peptide isolated from the culture supernatant of porcine aortic endothelial cells, has been shown to be the most potent of all known vasoconstrictor substances. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects and the mode of actions of ET on the heart. ET exerted a positive inotropic effect in a dose-dependent manner on the electrically driven left atria of guinea pigs. The ET-induced response was of slow onset and characteristically long lasting. The half-maximal effective dose of the ET-induced response was about 1 nM, indicating that ET is one of the most potent cardiotonic substances. The response was presumably caused through direct actions of ET on the myocytes, since adrenergic, histaminergic, and serotonergic antagonists showed no effect on the response. The dose-response relationship of ET for the positive inotropic effect was displaced to the right in a parallel fashion by 0.3 μM nicardipine. In the left atria depolarized with 22 mM KCl, ET produced gradually increasing contractions in conjunction with the slow response action potentials in response to the electrical pacing. These results suggest that the ET-induced response on the left atria is intimately related to the influx of extracellular Ca2+.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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