Deletion of the Endothelin-A-Receptor Suppresses Oxygen-Induced Constriction but not Postnatal Closure of the Ductus Arteriosus
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Experiments were carried out in mutant 129/SvEv mice lacking the endothelin-A (ET(A))-receptor to determine whether endothelin-1 (ET-1), acting as a messenger for oxygen constriction, is responsible for closure of the ductus arteriosus at birth. The isolated ductus from ET(A) -/- fetuses, unlike that from ET(A) +/+ littermates, contracted marginally to oxygen and ET-1 but responded to a thromboxane analog. In vivo, reduction in ductus lumen was equally pronounced in tracheotomized ET(A) -/- and ET(A) +/+ newborns. Conversely, no such vessel narrowing was seen in hyperoxic ET(A), -/- fetuses, although it occurred in ET(A) +/+ littermates. Notwithstanding the uneven behaviour of the ductus in vitro and in vivo, no ET(A) genotype-related difference was noted in the morphology of the vessel on both light and electron microscopy. We conclude that ET-1 mediates the ductus constriction to oxygen. Without ET-1, however, the vessel still closes postnatally probably as a result of the withdrawal of the relaxing influence of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
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