Mechanism of action of ketanserin: studies on cardiovascular reactivity in essential and diabetes-associated hypertension

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Ketanserin is a selective serotonin-S2 receptor antagonist with ɑ1-adrenoceptor inhibiting activity. The relative contribution of the latter mechanism to antihypertensive efficacy was studied in a group comprising eight normal subjects, 10 patients with essential hypertension and eight diabetics with arterial hypertension. Ketanserin treatment administered over a period of 8 weeks, decreased arterial pressure in patients with essential hypertension and, to a lesser extent, in diabetics, but not in normal subjects. In all three groups, exchangeable sodium, blood volume, the activity of the adrenergic and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone systems and the pressor responsiveness to norepinephrine (NE) or angiotensin II (Ang II) were unaltered, while the pressor reactivity to phenylephrine showed a significant decrease in normal subjects only. This suggests that the antihypertensive mechanism of ketanserin does not involve a modification of the physiological relationship between endogenous noradrenergic and pressor reactivity to NE. Moreover, ketanserin does not interfere with Ang ll-dependent mechanisms

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