Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Hypotension induced by vasopressin antagonists in rats: role of mast cell degranulation.

PMID 1688665


SK&F 101926, a synthetic peptide, is a potent antagonist of vasopressin at both the V2 and the V1 receptors. Following intravenous administration of SK&F 101926 (5 mg/kg), mean arterial pressure (MAP) immediately fell 75 mm Hg. Heart rate increased approximately 50 beats/min. Cutaneous flushing and cyanosis appeared approximately 2 to 5 min after the SK&F 101926 administration. Three of the five rats died within 40 min with no improvement in either color or MAP. The two surviving animals slowly recovered from these symptoms. The hypotension and flushing recorded in these studies resembled the effects during hypotensive shock. SK&F 101926 degranulated rat peritoneal mast cells in vitro as measured by the liberation of histamine. Analogs of SK&F 101926 were identified having reduced activity to release histamine from mast cells in vitro. The activity of these analogs to release histamine in vivo was also tested, as reflected by rat paw edema. A positive correlation was found between the potency to produce edema in vivo and the potency to release mast cell histamine in vitro (r = 0.94, p less than 0.05). In addition, compounds that released mast cell histamine and induced rat paw edema also produced hypotension and death when administered intravenously, while analogs which produced minimal histamine release in vitro produced minimal or no cardiovascular changes or lethality in vivo at the same dosages (5 mg/kg). Finally, cyproheptadine (10 mg/kg), an antagonist at both the serotonin and the histamine receptors, blunted the effects of SK&F 101926 on MAP and blocked the lethality. Pretreatment with a combination of histamine (H1 and H2) antagonists provided little protection against the SK&F 101926-induced toxicity. These data indicate that the cardiovascular toxicity of SK&F 101926 (and related peptides) is mediated via the release of autocoids from mast cells. Serotonin appears to play a major role in mediating the cardiovascular toxicity of SK&F 101926.