Eucapnic intermittent hypoxia augments endothelin-1 vasoconstriction in rats: role of PKCdelta. Academic Article uri icon


  • We reported previously that simulating sleep apnea by exposing rats to eucapnic intermittent hypoxia (E-IH) causes endothelin-dependent hypertension and increases constrictor sensitivity to endothelin-1 (ET-1). In addition, augmented ET-1-induced constriction in small mesenteric arteries (sMA) is mediated by increased Ca(2+) sensitization independent of Rho-associated kinase. We hypothesized that exposing rats to E-IH augments ET-1-mediated vasoconstriction by increasing protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent Ca(2+) sensitization. In sMA, the nonselective PKC inhibitor GF-109203x (3 microM) significantly inhibited ET-1-stimulated constriction in E-IH arteries but did not affect ET-1-stimulated constriction in sham arteries. Phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122 (1 microM) also inhibited constriction by ET-1 in E-IH but not sham sMA. In contrast, the classical PKC (cPKC) inhibitor Gö-6976 (1 microM) had no effect on ET-1-mediated vasoconstriction in either group, but a PKCdelta-selective inhibitor (rottlerin, 3 microM) significantly decreased ET-1-mediated constriction in E-IH but not in sham sMA. ET-1 increased PKCdelta phosphorylation in E-IH but not sham sMA. In contrast, ET-1 constriction in thoracic aorta from both sham and E-IH rats was inhibited by Gö-6976 but not by rottlerin. These observations support our hypothesis that E-IH exposure significantly increases ET-1-mediated constriction of sMA through PKCdelta activation and modestly augments ET-1 contraction in thoracic aorta through activation of one or more cPKC isoforms. Therefore, upregulation of a PKC pathway may contribute to elevated ET-1-dependent vascular resistance in this model of hypertension.

publication date

  • February 2008