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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


DAVID, F.L. et al. Gender differences in vascular expression of endothelin and ETA/ETB receptors, but not in calcium handling mechanisms, in deoxycorticosterone acetate-salt hypertension. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2002, vol.35, n.9, pp.1061-1068. ISSN 0100-879X.

We determined if the increased vascular responsiveness to endothelin-1 (ET-1) observed in male, but not in female, DOCA-salt rats is associated with differential vascular mRNA expression of ET-1 and/or ETA/ETB receptors or with functional differences in Ca2+ handling mechanisms by vascular myocytes. Uninephrectomized male and female Wistar rats received DOCA and drinking water containing NaCl/KCl. Control rats received vehicle and tap water. Blood pressure and contractile responses of endothelium-denuded aortic rings to agents which induce Ca2+ influx and/or its release from internal stores were measured using standard procedures. Expression of mRNA for ET-1 and ETA/ETB receptors was evaluated by RT-PCR after isolation of total cell RNA from both aorta and mesenteric arteries. Systolic blood pressure was higher in male than in female DOCA rats. Contractions induced by Bay K8644 (which activates Ca2+ influx through voltage-operated L-type channels), and by caffeine, serotonin or ET-1 in Ca2+-free buffer (which reflect Ca2+ release from internal stores) were significantly increased in aortas from male and female DOCA-salt compared to control aortas. DOCA-salt treatment of male, but not female, rats statistically increased vascular mRNA expression of ET-1 and ETB receptors, but decreased the expression of ETA receptors. Molecular up-regulation of vascular ETB receptors, rather than differential changes in smooth muscle Ca2+ handling mechanisms, seems to account for the increased vascular reactivity to ET-1/ETB receptor agonists and higher blood pressure levels observed in male DOCA-salt rats.

Keywords : DOCA-salt hypertension; Endothelin-1; Gender; Endothelin receptors; Calcium; Rats.

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