Recent evidence suggests that the potent constrictor peptide, endothelin (ET) has a mediating role in cyclosporine A (CsA)-related renal vasoconstriction. However, the nature of the CsA-ET interaction and effect on the renal vasculature is uncertain. The purpose of the present study was twofold: (a) to determine if CsA exposure caused direct local release of ET from the endothelium of the renal microvasculature and (b) to determine if locally generated ET has paracrine effects on the underlying vascular smooth muscle to induce vasoconstriction. Experiments were performed in isolated rat renal arterioles. First it was determined that both afferent arteriole (AA) and efferent arteriole (EA) exhibited concentration-dependent decreases in lumen diameter to increasing molar concentrations of CsA. The AA was more sensitive to the vasoconstrictive effects of CsA than the EA. Next, the blocking effect of a recently synthesized putative ETA receptor antagonist was verified in both the AA and EA, where it was found that the cyclic peptide cyclo D-Asp-L-Pro-D-Val-L-Leu-D-Trp totally inhibited the vasoconstriction observed with ET addition. Finally, the role of locally stimulated ET in CsA-induced vasoconstriction was tested by determining the effect of the ETA receptor antagonist on CsA-induced AA and EA constriction. In the AA the vasoconstrictor effect of 10(-11) M CsA was completely blocked by the ETA receptor antagonist. However, in contrast to AA, 10(-11) M CsA in EA in the presence of the ETA receptor antagonist decreased EA lumen diameter by a mean of 41% from baseline (4.80 +/- 0.75 microns vs 7.80 +/- 0.84 microns, P < 0.05). This change in lumen diameter was similar to that induced by CsA alone. These data suggest that CsA directly constricts renal microvessels. This effect is mediated by ET in the AA but not the EA.
D M Lanese, J D Conger