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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2002 Feb;23(2):59-62.

Are endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing and contracting factors isoprostanes?

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Dept of Medicine, McMaster University, 50 Charlton Avenue East, Ontario, L8N 4A6., Hamilton, Canada.


The endothelium releases many vasoactive substances, including prostacyclin, nitric oxide and endothelin, in addition to several other factors about which little is known. The latter are referred to as 'endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors' (EDHFs) and 'endothelium-derived contracting factors' (EDCFs). Although there is much debate about the identities of EDHFs and EDCFs, a prevailing hypothesis is that they are cyclooxygenase-independent metabolites of arachidonic acid and many researchers associate them with free radicals. These properties are shared with isoprostanes. In this article, I compare the properties of EDHFs and EDCFs with those of the isoprostanes and propose novel experiments that might identify isoprostanes as candidate molecules for EDHFs and EDCFs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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