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Peptides. 2002 Mar;23(3):561-6.

Mechanisms transducing the aldosterone secretagogue signal of endothelins in the human adrenal cortex.

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  • 1Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Section of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Padua, I-35121, Padua, Italy.


Evidence has been provided that the 21-amino acid hypertensive peptide endothelin (ET)-1 exerts a potent secretagogue effect on human adrenocortical zona glomerulosa (ZG), acting through two receptor subtypes, called ET(A) and ET(B), the signaling mechanism(s) of which has (have) not yet been investigated. Collagenase dispersed human ZG cells were obtained from normal adrenals of patients undergoing nephrectomy/adrenalectomy for renal cancer. The selective ET(A)- and ET(B)-receptor activation was obtained by exposing dispersed cells to ET-1 plus the ET(B)-receptor antagonist BQ-788 and to the ET(B)-receptor agonist BQ-3020, respectively. The phospholipase (PL) C inhibitor U-73122 abolished ET(A) receptor-mediated secretory response, but only partially prevented the ET(B) receptor-mediated one. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin, the calmodulin inhibitor W-7 and the protein kinase (PK) C inhibitor calphostin-C significantly blunted the secretory responses ensuing from the activation of both receptor subtypes. When added together, calphostin-C and wortmannin or W-7 abolished ET(A)-mediated secretory response, but only decreased ET(B)-mediated one. The ET(B) receptor-, but not the ET(A) receptor-mediated aldosterone response was partially reversed by the cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor indomethacin, which when added together with U-73122 abolished it. ET(A)-receptor activation raised inositol triphosphate (IP(3)) production from dispersed ZG cells, while ET(B)-receptor stimulation enhanced both IP(3) and prostaglandin-E(2) production. Collectively, our findings indicate that ETs stimulate aldosterone secretion from human ZG cells, acting through ET(A) receptors exclusively coupled to PLC/PKC-dependent pathway and ET(B) receptors coupled to both PLC/PKC- and COX-dependent cascades.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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