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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2000 Nov;36(5 Suppl 1):S5-8.

Quantitative analysis of endothelin-1 and vasoactive intestinal contractor/endothelin-2 gene expression in rats by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.

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Biosignaling Department, National Institute of Bioscience and Human Technology, Agency of Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


We established a real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) system for the analysis of rat endothelin-1 (ET-1) and vasoactive intestinal contractor (VIC)/ET-2 gene expression. We used this technique to examine the expression levels in rat in 16 different organs. ET-1 gene expression was observed in all organs examined, while VIC mRNA was detected in some organs such as heart, lung, ovary, stomach, and intestine. Ovary and intestine express both ET-1 and VIC mRNA at high levels, suggesting the importance of both peptides in these organs. In addition, we examined the gene expression levels in intestinal epithelial and mesenchymal tissues from rat fetuses at 16.5 and 19.5 days postcoitus (E16.5 and E19.5). We observed distinct differences in the temporal gene expression patterns for ET-1 and VIC in fetal intestinal epithelial tissue. In fetal mesenchymal tissue the expression level of ET-1 is significantly higher than that of VIC, and the levels of both genes remain unchanged over the time period observed. These findings suggest distinct biological roles and gene regulation mechanisms for ET-1 and VIC in intestinal epithelial and mesenchymal tissues.

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