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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Sep 7;286(5):968-72.

The effect of endothelin-1 on nuclear factor kappa B in macrophages.

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Division of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) is a transcriptional factor which may be pivotal in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a peptide with proatherogenic properties. We hypothesized that ET-1 may act through activation of NF-kappaB and degradation of IkappaB-alpha, the cytosolic inhibitor of NF-kappaB activation, to create an atherogenic environment. The human monocytic cell line THP-1 was stimulated with ET-1 +/- the ET antagonist, BQ788 and the proteosome inhibitor, PSI. LPS was used as a positive control. Gel shift assays for NF-kappaB activity and Western blot analysis for IkappaB-alpha were performed. Both LPS and ET-1 led to activation of NF-kappaB in nuclear extracts [3.4 +/- 0.45 (LPS) and 2.9 +/- 0.26 (ET-1) fold increase in Arbitrary Densitometric Units (ADU) compared with negative control (P < 0.005 in both cases)]. In the presence of the ETB antagonist, BQ788, NF-kappaB activation was attenuated and not different from control (1.7 +/- 0.24 fold DU compared with negative control; P = NS). In addition, both LPS and ET-1 mediated NF-kappaB activation were attenuated by preincubation with the proteosome inhibitor, PSI (1.3 +/- 0.58 and 1.1 +/- 0.3 fold increase in ADU compared with negative control respectively). Both LPS and ET-1 led to a decrease in the amount of IkappaB-alpha present in the THP-1 cytoplasmic extracts (2.1 +/- 1.5% and 54 +/- 15.7% of ADU vs negative control (P < 0.05). NF-kappaB is activated by ET-1 in human THP-1 monocytes. This data supports a role for the ETs in the development of inflammation in the vessel wall in atherosclerosis.

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