Microvasospasms After Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Do Not Depend on Endothelin A Receptors

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Background and Purpose—Perturbations in cerebral microcirculation (eg, microvasospasms) and reduced neurovascular communication determine outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). ET-1 (endothelin-1) and its receptors have been implicated in the pathophysiology of large artery spasms after SAH; however, their role in the development of microvascular dysfunction is currently unknown. Here, we investigated whether inhibiting ETA (endothelin A) receptors can reduce microvasospasms after experimentally induced SAH.Methods—SAH was induced in male C57BL/6 mice by filament perforation of the middle cerebral artery. Three hours after SAH, a cranial window was prepared and the pial and parenchymal cerebral microcirculation was measured in vivo using two-photon microscopy before, during, and after administration of the ETA receptor inhibitor clazosentan. In separate experiments, the effect of clazosentan treatment on neurological outcome was measured 3 days after SAH.Results—Clazosentan treatment had no effect on the number or severity of SAH-induced cerebral microvasospasms nor did it affect neurological outcome.Conclusions—Our results indicate that ETA receptors, which mediate large artery spasms after SAH, do not seem to play a role in the development of microarterial spasms, suggesting that posthemorrhagic spasms are mediated by distinct mechanisms in large and small cerebral vessels. Given that cerebral microvessel dysfunction is a key factor for outcome after SAH, further research into the mechanisms that underlie posthemorrhagic microvasospasms is urgently needed.

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