Vasopressin dilates the rat carotid artery by stimulating V1 receptors

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1998 Oct;32(4):637-41. doi: 10.1097/00005344-199810000-00017.


The acute effects of various vasopressor agents on the diameter of the common carotid artery were studied in halothane-anesthetized normotensive rats. The animals were infused intravenously for 60 min with equipressor doses of angiotensin II (10 ng/min), the alpha1-stimulant methoxamine (5 microg/min), lysine vasopressin (5 mU/min), or vehicle. The arterial diameter was measured by using a high-resolution ultrasonic echo-tracking device. The three vasoconstrictors increased the carotid artery diameter, but this effect was significantly more pronounced with lysine vasopressin. Even a nonpressor dose of lysine vasopressin (1 mU/min) caused a significant increase in the arterial diameter. The lysine vasopressin-induced vasodilatation could be prevented by the administration of d(CH2)5Tyr(Me)AVP (10 microg, i.v.), a selective V1-vasopressinergic receptor antagonist. These data therefore suggest that a short-term increase in blood pressure induces in rats a distention of the carotid artery. The increase in arterial diameter seems to involve an active mechanism with lysine vasopressin caused by the stimulation of V1-vasopressinergic receptors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Arginine Vasopressin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Arginine Vasopressin / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Carotid Arteries / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lypressin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lypressin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Methoxamine / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Vasopressin / drug effects*
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Antidiuretic Hormone Receptor Antagonists
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • Receptors, Vasopressin
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Angiotensin II
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Lypressin
  • vasopressin, 1-(1-mercaptocyclohexaneacetic acid)-2-(O- methyl-L-tyrosine)-8-L-arginine-
  • Methoxamine