Aims: The endothelin (ET) system is a tissular system, as the production of ET isoforms is mostly autocrine or paracrine. Macitentan is a novel dual ETA/ETB receptor antagonist with enhanced tissue distribution and sustained receptor binding properties designed to achieve a more efficacious ET receptor blockade. To determine if these features translate into improved efficacy in vivo, a study was designed in which rats with either systemic or pulmonary hypertension and equipped with telemetry were given macitentan on top of maximally effective doses of another dual ETA/ETB receptor antagonist, bosentan, which does not display sustained receptor occupancy and shows less tissue distribution.
Main methods: After establishing dose-response curves of both compounds in conscious, hypertensive Dahl salt-sensitive and pulmonary hypertensive bleomycin-treated rats, macitentan was administered on top of the maximal effective dose of bosentan.
Key findings: In hypertensive rats, macitentan 30 mg/kg further decreased mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) by 19 mm Hg when given on top of bosentan 100 mg/kg (n=9, p<0.01 vs. vehicle). Conversely, bosentan given on top of macitentan failed to induce an additional MAP decrease. In pulmonary hypertensive rats, macitentan 30 mg/kg further decreased mean pulmonary artery pressure (MPAP) by 4 mm Hg on top of bosentan (n=8, p<0.01 vs. vehicle), whereas a maximal effective dose of bosentan given on top of macitentan did not cause any additional MPAP decrease.
Significance: The add-on effect of macitentan on top of bosentan in two pathological models confirms that this novel compound can achieve a superior blockade of ET receptors and provides evidence for greater maximal efficacy.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Endothelin; Pharmacology; Pulmonary hypertension; Rat.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.