Object. The central role of endothelin (ET)—1 in the development of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage is indicated by the successful treatment of this vasospasm in several animal models by using selective ETA receptor antagonists. Clazosentan is a selective ETA receptor antagonist that provides for the first time clinical proof that ET-1 is involved in the pathogenesis of cerebral vasospasm. The aim of the present investigation was, therefore, to define the pharmacological properties of clazosentan that affect ETA receptor—mediated contraction in the cerebrovasculature.
Methods. Isometric force measurements were performed in rat basilar artery (BA) ring segments with (E+) and without (E−) endothelial function. Concentration effect curves (CECs) were constructed by cumulative application of ET-1 or big ET-1 in the absence or presence of clazosentan (10−9, 10−8, and 10−7 M). The inhibitory potency of clazosentan was determined by the value of the affinity constant (pA2).
The CECs for contraction induced by ET-1 and big ET-1 were shifted to the right in the presence of clazosentan in a parallel dose-dependent manner, which indicates competitive antagonism. The pA2 values for ET-1 were 7.8 (E+) and 8.6 (E−) and the corresponding values for big ET-1 were 8.6 (E+) and 8.3 (E−).
Conclusions. The present data characterize clazosentan as a potent competitive antagonist of ETA receptor—mediated constriction of the cerebrovasculature by ET-1 and its precursor big ET-1. These functional data may also be used to define an in vitro profile of an ET receptor antagonist with a high probability of clinical efficacy.