Hyperinsulinemia fails to augment ET-1 action in the skeletal muscle vascular bed in vivo in humans

Amale A. Lteif, Angie D. Fulford, Robert V. Considine, Inessa Gelfand, Alain D. Baron, Kieren J. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Endogenous endothelin action is augmented in human obesity and type 2 diabetes and contributes to endothelial dysfunction and impairs insulin-mediated vasodilation in humans. We hypothesized that insulin resistance-associated hyperinsulinemia could preferentially drive endothelin-mediated vasoconstriction. We applied hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps with higher insulin dosing in obese subjects than lean subjects (30 vs. 10 mU·m -2·min-1, respectively), with the goal of matching insulin's nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vascular effects. We predicted that, under these circumstances, insulin-stimulated endothelin-1 (ET-1) action (assessed with the type A endothelin receptor antagonist BQ-123) would be augmented in proportion to hyperinsulinemia. NO bioactivity was assessed using the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-monomethyl-L-arginine. Insulin-mediated vasodilation and insulin-stimulated NO bioavailability were well matched across groups by this approach. As expected, steady-state insulin levels were approximately threefold higher in obese than lean subjects (109.2 ± 10.2 pmol/l vs. 518.4 ± 84.0, P = 0.03). Despite this, the augmentation of insulin-mediated vasodilation by BQ-123 was not different between groups. ET-1 flux across the leg was not augmented by insulin alone but was increased with the addition of BQ-123 to insulin (P = 0.01 BQ-123 effect, P = not significant comparing groups). Endothelin antagonism augmented insulin-stimulated NO bioavailability and NOx flux, but not differently between groups and not proportional to hyperinsulinemia. These findings do not support the hypothesis that insulin resistance-associated hyperinsulinemia preferentially drives endothelin-mediated vasoconstriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1510-E1517
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Endothelin-1
  • Insulin
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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