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Hypertension. 2005 Jul;46(1):87-92. Epub 2005 Jun 13.

Endothelin-1 (1-31) is an intermediate in the production of endothelin-1 after big endothelin-1 administration in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Medical School, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001 12th Ave N, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1H 5N4, Canada.


The precursor of endothelin-1, big endothelin-1, can be hydrolyzed by chymase to generate endothelin-1 (1-31) in vitro. In the present study, we explored the processes involved in the production of endothelin-1 (1-31) as well as its pharmacodynamic characteristics in the rabbit in vivo. Endothelin-1 (1-31) (1 nmol/kg, injected into the left cardiac ventricle) induced a monophasic increase of mean arterial blood pressure similarly to big endothelin-1 (1-38), whereas endothelin-1 induces a biphasic response. Phosphoramidon, a dual neutral endopeptidase and endothelin-converting enzyme inhibitor, blocked both pressor responses to endothelin-1 (1-31) and big endothelin-1 but not those afforded by endothelin-1. Thiorphan, a neutral endopeptidase inhibitor, markedly inhibited the response to endothelin-1 (1-31) but only weakly reduced that of big endothelin-1. In contrast, CGS 35066, an endothelin-converting enzyme inhibitor, was significantly more efficient against the pressor response to big endothelin-1 than to endothelin-1 (1-31). Furthermore, injection of big endothelin-1 concomitantly with phosphoramidon induced an increase in endothelin-1 (1-31) plasma levels. Finally, intracardiac-administered endothelin-1 (1-31) induced an increase of endothelin-1 plasma levels, which are markedly reduced by phosphoramidon and thiorphan but not by CGS 35066. Our results thus demonstrate that endothelin-1 (1-31) is an alternate intermediate in the production of endothelin-1 after big endothelin-1 administration in the rabbit in vivo.

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