Loss of selective endothelial cell vasoactive functions caused by hypercholesterolemia in pig coronary arteries.
The influence of hypercholesterolemia on the reactivity of coronary arteries was investigated after feeding a high-cholesterol diet to pigs for 9 weeks. After this duration of hypercholesterolemia, the fatty or intimal proliferative changes of atherosclerosis were not yet evident in the coronary arteries by light or electron microscopy. Changes in isometric tension were compared in isolated ring segments of coronary arteries from normal and hypercholesterolemic animals. The endothelium failed to inhibit contractions caused by 5-hydroxytryptamine in coronary arteries from hypercholesterolemic animals, but it did so in normal vessels. In contracted arteries, endothelium-dependent relaxations caused by 5-hydroxytryptamine and substance P were reduced by hypercholesterolemia. In contrast, endothelium-dependent relaxations mediated by norepinephrine acting at alpha 2-adrenoceptors and those caused by the calcium ionophore A23187 were unaffected. Endothelium-independent beta-adrenergic relaxations caused by norepinephrine, as well as those caused by nitroprusside, and papaverine also were unaffected by hypercholesterolemia. The loss of selective endothelial cell receptor-mediated relaxation suggests that it is not the ability of the coronary artery endothelium to elaborate vasodilators, but the initiation of the coronary artery endothelial cell response to 5-hydroxytryptamine and substance P that is affected by hypercholesterolemia. Thus, during hypercholesterolemia, selective endothelial cell dysfunction giving rise to abnormal coronary artery reactivity precedes the onset of coronary artery atherosclerosis.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association