Ketanserin in hypertension and vasospastic disease: mechanism of action
5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) has fascinated and confused scientists since its discovery some 40 years ago. The monoamine, released from aggregating blood platelets, has been implicated in the peripheral control of vascular tone and in the pathogenesis of hypertension and peripheral vascular disorders. Its exact role, however, has remained elusive . Exogenous 5-HT causes either contraction or relaxation of vascular smooth musle depending on blood vessel type, monoamine concentration, presence of intact endothelium and experimental conditions . Most isolated large blood vessels, arteries as well as veins, are constricted by 5-HT whereas arterioles may be dilated. In addition, 5-HT markedly potentiates the constrictor effects of other agonists including noradrenaline. Local factors such as hypoxia and low temperature also contribute to the vasoconstrictor effect of 5-HT. This constrictor effect is mediated by 5-HT2 receptors on vascular smooth musle [3–5].
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