Inhibition by calcium antagonism of circulating and renal endothelin in experimental congestive heart failure

Chiming Wei, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Endothelin (ET) is a potent vasoconstrictor and sodium-regulating peptide whose tissue and plasma concentrations are increased in congestive heart failure (CHF). ET may mediate its vasoconstrictor and sodium-regulatory actions secondary to an increase in intracellular calcium. Calcium influx may augment ET synthesis. Although felodipine, a dihydropyridine calcium-channel antagonist, is effective in reducing vascular resistance in generalized vasoconstriction, its actions in CHF on circulating and local tissue ET remain undefined. The current studies were designed to determine the modulating actions of felodipine (oral, 40 mg/day for 7 days; n = 6) in an experimental canine model of CHF produced by chronic thoracic inferior vena caval constriction (TIVCC) compared with normal (n = 7) and TIVCC-alone (n = 7) dogs. We hypothesized that felodipine would decrease circulating and renal ET. Plasma ET was significantly increased in TIVCC compared with normal dogs (26 ± 0.5 vs. 12 ± 0.7 pg/ml, P < 0.05) and was markedly decreased by felodipine compared with TIVCC alone (14 ± 3 vs. 26 ± 0.5 pg/ml, P < 0.05). Renal ET immunohistochemical staining demonstrated the presence of ET in normal kidney, which was markedly increased in renal cortex and medulla in TIVCC dogs. Renal cortical and medullary ET staining densities were markedly decreased with felodipine compared with those with TIVCC alone. In the TIVCC + felodipine group, cardiovascular hemodynamics also was markedly improved compared with the TIVCC-alone group [systemic vascular resistance: 27 ± 2 vs. 44 ± 3 resistance units (RU), P < 0.05; pulmonary vascular resistance: 3.3 ± 0.1 vs. 5.7 ± 0.4 RU, P < 0.05; cardiac output: 2.9 ± 0.2 vs. 1.7 ± 0.11/min, P < 0.05]. This study demonstrates important modulating inhibitory actions of felodipine on renal and plasma ET in an experimental model of CHF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H263-H268
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1 47-1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Calcium-channel antagonist
  • Vasoconstrictor
  • Vasodilator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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