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J Biol Chem. 1996 Feb 9;271(6):3221-8.

Endothelin-1 is involved in mechanical stress-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tokyo School of Medicine and the Health Service Center, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan.


We have recently shown that mechanical stress induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy partly through the enhanced secretion of angiotensin II (ATII). Endothelin-1 (ET-1) has been reported to be a potent growth factor for a variety of cells, including cardiomyocytes. In this study, we examined the role of ET-1 in mechanical stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy by using cultured cardiomyocytes of neonatal rats. ET-1 (10(-8) approximately 10(-7) M) maximally induced the activation of both Raf-1 kinase and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases at 4 and 8 min, respectively, followed by an increase in protein synthesis at 24 h. All of these hypertrophic responses were completely blocked by pretreatment with BQ123, an antagonist selective for the ET-1 type A receptor subtype, but not by BQ788, an ET-1 type B receptor-specific antagonist. BQ123 also suppressed stretch-induced activation of MAP kinases and an increase in phenylalanine uptake by approximately 60 and 50%, respectively, but BQ788 did not. ET-1 was constitutively secreted from cultured cardiomyocytes, and a significant increase in ET-1 concentration was observed in the culture medium of cardiomyocytes after stretching for 10 min. After 24 h, an approximately 3-fold increase in ET-1 concentration was observed in the conditioned medium of stretched cardiomyocytes compared with that of unstretched cardiomyocytes. ET-1 mRNA levels were also increased at 30 min after stretching. Moreover, ET-1 and ATII synergistically activated Raf-1 kinase and MAP kinases in cultured cardiomyocytes. In conclusion, mechanical stretching stimulates secretion and production of ET-1 in cultured cardiomyocytes, and vasoconstrictive peptides such as ATII and ET-1 may play an important role in mechanical stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy.

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