American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology

Role of endothelin-A receptors in optic nerve head red cell flux regulation during isometric exercise in healthy humans.

PMID 23103498


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is an important regulator of vascular tone in the eye. It appears to play a role in ocular disease because of its strong vasoconstrictor action, its role in intraocular pressure homeostasis, and its neurotoxic potential. We have previously shown that ET-1 is involved in choroidal red cell flux (RCF) regulation during isometric exercise in healthy humans. In the present study we hypothesized that ET-1 also plays a role in optic nerve head (ONH) RCF regulation during isometric exercise. To test this hypothesis, we performed a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, two-way crossover study in 15 healthy volunteers. Subjects were randomized to receive intravenous infusions of the specific endothelin type A receptor antagonist BQ-123 and placebo on two different study days. During these infusion periods, subjects performed squatting for 6 min to increase ocular perfusion pressure (OPP). ONH RCF was assessed with laser-Doppler flowmetry, and OPP was calculated from mean arterial pressure and intraocular pressure. BQ-123 did not change OPP or ONH RCF at baseline. The relative increase in OPP during isometric exercise was comparable between both groups (between 84 and 88%, P = 0.76 between groups; P < 0.001 vs. baseline). Isometric exercise increased ONH RCF during placebo and BQ-123, but the increase was more pronounced when the endothelin type-A receptor antagonist was administered (placebo, 27.3 ± 5.4%; and BQ-123, 39.2 ± 4.4%; P = 0.007 between groups). The present data indicate that ET-1 regulates red cell flux in the ONH beyond the autoregulatory range.

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BQ-123, ≥99%, sodium salt, lyophilized powder
C31H41N6O7 Na