Abstract / Description of output
Background: The importance of endothelin-1 in chronic heart failure (CHF) is unclear. We therefore investigated the effects of endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) inhibition and endothelin ETA receptor blockade in CHF patients treated with ACE inhibitors. We also compared the function of ETA and ETB receptors in healthy subjects and patients with CHF. Methods and Results: Locally active doses of study drugs were infused into the nondominant brachial artery while forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography. In CHF patients (n=10), phosphoramidon (a combined ECE and neutral endopeptidase inhibitor) and BQ-123 (an ETA receptor antagonist) increased FBF by 52±10% (P=.0006) and 31±6% (P=.002), respectively, and thiorphan (a selective neutral endopeptidase inhibitor) reduced FBF by 15±5% (P=.0007). Forearm vasoconstriction to endothelin-1 (an ETA and ETB receptor agonist) was significantly blunted in CHF patients compared with control subjects (both n=10; CHF versus control subjects, P<.001), whereas vasoconstriction to sarafotoxin S6c (an ETB receptor agonist) was significantly enhanced in CHF patients compared with control subjects (both n=10; CHF versus control subjects, P<.05). Conclusions: ECE inhibitors and ETA receptor antagonists may be useful as vasodilator agents in CHF patients already receiving treatment with an ACE inhibitor. Both ETA and ETB receptors can mediate agonist-induced vasoconstriction in healthy subjects and patients with CHF, but further studies are required to clarify the contribution of each receptor subtype in mediating the effects of endogenous endothelin-1.