Role of endothelin in mediating soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1-induced hypertension in pregnant rats

Sydney R Murphy, B Babbette D LaMarca, Kathy Cockrell, Joey P Granger
Hypertension 2010, 55 (2): 394-8
Although soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), an antagonist of vascular endothelial growth factor and placental growth factor, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension during preeclampsia, the mechanisms whereby enhanced sFlt-1 production leads to hypertension remain unclear. Both sFlt-1 and endothelin 1 productions are elevated in women with preeclampsia and in placental ischemic animal models of preeclampsia; however, the importance of endothelin 1 and sFlt-1 interactions in the control of blood pressure during pregnancy is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of endothelin 1 in mediating sFlt-1-induced hypertension in pregnant rats. To achieve this goal, sFlt-1 (3.7 microg/kg per day for 6 days) was infused into normal pregnant rats and pregnant rats treated with a selective endothelin type A receptor antagonist, ABT 627 (5 mg/kg per day for 6 days). Plasma concentration of sFlt-1 increased from 735+/-34 pg/mL in normal pregnant rats to 2498+/-645 pg/mL (P<0.05) with infusion of sFlt-1. Arterial pressure increased from 100+/-1 mm Hg in normal pregnant rats to 122+/-3 mm Hg (P<0.05) in sFlt-1-infused rats. Chronic increases in plasma sFlt-1 in normal pregnant rats increased preproendothelin mRNA expression in the renal cortices by approximately 3-fold. In addition, chronic endothelin type A receptor blockade completely abolished the blood pressure response to sFlt-1 in pregnant rats (104+/-3 versus 100+/-1 mm Hg; P<0.05), whereas the endothelin A receptor antagonist had no effect on arterial pressure in NP rats (105+/-2 versus 100+/-1 mm Hg). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that endothelin 1, via endothelin type A receptor activation, plays an important role in mediating the hypertension in response to excess sFlt-1 during pregnancy.

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