Vascular effects of endothelin-1 in stage 21 chick embryos
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Endothelin-1 is a very potent vasoconstrictor, but its function has not yet been investigated in the early stage of cardiovascular development. The purpose of the present study was to clarify whether endothelin-1 exerts a hemodynamic effect in stage 21 chick embryos. We measured vitelline artery blood pressure with a servo-null micropressure system and blood flow velocity at the dorsal aorta with a 20 MHz pulsed Doppler velocity meter. The vitelline vessels were directly measured with a microscope video system. While monitoring these parameters, endothelin-1 was infused into a vein by a microinjector and data were collected. Endothelin-1 increased the blood pressure and heart rate, but decreased the dorsal aortic blood flow. Only the vitelline veins with a diameter of between 100 and 200µm constricted after endothelin infusion, but smaller or larger veins and the arteries did not show any significant change in size, although the resistant arteries could not be measured by this method. In conclusion, endothelin-1 has apparent constrictive effects in the selected vessel in the early stages of cardiovascular development when the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems have not yet developed.
Key wordsDevelopment Hemodynamics Vasoconstriction Circulatory control
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