Analysis of the ghrelin receptor-independent vascular actions of ulimorelin.

European journal of pharmacology

PubMedID: 25687251

Broad J, Callaghan B, Sanger GJ, Brock JA, Furness JB. Analysis of the ghrelin receptor-independent vascular actions of ulimorelin. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015;.
Ulimorelin (TZP101) is a ghrelin receptor agonist that stimulates intestinal motility, but also reduces blood pressure in rodents and humans and dilates blood vessels. It has been proposed as a treatment for intestinal motility disorders. Here we investigated the mechanisms through which ulimorelin affects vascular diameter. Actions of ulimorelin on wall tension of rodent arteries were investigated and compared with other ghrelin receptor agonists. Saphenous, mesenteric and basilar arteries were obtained from Sprague-Dawley rats (male, 8 weeks) and saphenous arteries were obtained from wild type or ghrelin receptor null mice. These were mounted in myography chambers to record artery wall tension. Ulimorelin (0.03-30µM) inhibited phenylephrine-induced contractions of rat saphenous (IC50=0.6µM; Imax=66±5%; n=3-6) and mesenteric arteries (IC50=5µM, Imax=113±16%; n=3-4), but not those contracted by U46619, ET-1 or 60mM [K(+)]. Relaxation of phenylephrine-constricted arteries was not observed with ghrelin receptor agonists TZP102, capromorelin or AZP-531. In rat saphenous and basilar arteries, ulimorelin (10-100µM) and TZP102 (10-100µM) constricted arteries (EC50=9.9µM; Emax=50±7% and EC50=8µM; Emax=99±16% respectively), an effect not attenuated by the ghrelin receptor antagonist YIL 781 3µM or mimicked by capromorelin or AZP-531. In mesenteric arteries, ulimorelin, 1-10µM, caused a surmountable rightward shift in the response to phenylephrine (0.01-1000µM; pA2=5.7; n=3-4). Ulimorelin had similar actions in mouse saphenous artery from both wild type and ghrelin receptor null mice. We conclude that ulimorelin causes vasorelaxation through competitive antagonist action at a1-adrenoceptors and a constrictor action not mediated via the ghrelin receptor.