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J Clin Invest. 1990 May;85(5):1537-41.

Endothelin-1 mRNA is widely expressed in porcine and human tissues.

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  • 1Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide isolated from porcine endothelial cells. We have previously demonstrated widespread binding sites for ET-1 in blood vessels, heart, kidney, adrenal, lung, and brain in a distribution that paralleled that of endothelial cells. To determine whether these cells are capable of synthesizing ET-1 in close proximity to its binding sites, amplification of cDNA using the polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization were used to study the distribution of ET-1 mRNA. We have found widespread transcription of ET-1 mRNA in human and porcine tissues. The identity of the transcripts was confirmed by prediction of restriction fragment lengths or sequencing. In situ hybridization in the kidney showed that the regional expression of these transcripts is localized, probably to small blood vessels, but the failure to visualize ET-1 mRNA in the capillaries may reflect absence of expression or insufficient sensitivity of the technique. These results should permit investigation of the role of ET-1 as a local factor in vascular pathophysiology.

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