AbstractArginine vasopressin in physiological concentrations potentiated the vascular effects of various vasoconstrictor agents. By using the isolated rat mesenteric artery preparation, the pressor effects of norepinephrine, angiotensin II, and potassium chloride were all significantly increased when vasopressin was added to the perfusion buffer. Cortisol and lithium both inhibited the potentiating effect of vasopressin but had no effect on the control pressor response to norepinephrine. When the vascular effects of norepinephrine were first blocked with indomethacin and then restored by the addition of prostaglandin E2, the potentiation by vasopressin was almost completely prevented. This suggests that vasopressin may be acting by stimulating prostaglandin biosynthesis. Cortisol and lithium may exert their inhibitory effects by preventing the activation of prostaglandin synthesis by vasopressin. These findings may be of clinical significance because the phenomena occur well within the range of vasopressin levels found in human plasma.
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