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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2000 Jun;278(6):H2050-6.

ET-1 in the myocardial interstitium: relation to myocyte ECE activity and expression.

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  • 1Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


Increased plasma levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) have been identified in congestive heart failure (CHF), but local myocardial interstitial ET-1 levels and the relation to determinants of ET-1 synthesis remain to be defined. Accordingly, myocardial interstitial ET-1 levels and myocyte endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE)-1 activity and expression with the development of CHF were examined. Pigs were instrumented with a microdialysis system to measure myocardial interstitial ET-1 levels with pacing CHF (240 beats/min, 3 wk; n = 9) and in controls (n = 14). Plasma ET-1 was increased with CHF (15 +/- 1 vs. 9 +/- 1 fmol/ml, P < 0.05) as was total myocardial ET-1 content (90 +/- 15 vs. 35 +/- 5 fmol/g, P < 0.05). Paradoxically, myocardial interstitial ET-1 was decreased in CHF (32 +/- 4 vs. 21 +/- 2 fmol/ml, P < 0.05), which indicated increased ET-1 uptake by the left ventricular (LV) myocardium with CHF. In isolated LV myocyte preparations, ECE-1 activity was increased by twofold with CHF (P < 0.05). In LV myocytes, both ECE-1a and ECE-1c mRNAs were detected, and ECE-1a expression was upregulated fivefold in CHF myocytes (P < 0.05). In conclusion, this study demonstrated compartmentalization of ET-1 in the myocardial interstitium and enhanced ET-1 uptake with CHF. Thus a local ET-1 system exists at the level of the myocyte, and determinants of ET-1 biosynthesis are selectively regulated within this myocardial compartment in CHF.

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