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Ann Med. 1992 Jun;24(3):153-61.

Endothelin peptides: biological activities, cellular signalling and clinical significance.

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Department of Physiology, University of Oulu, Finland.


Endothelins (ET-1, ET-2 and ET-3) are a family of 21 amino acid peptides produced by endothelial cells. They are thought to regulate the local vasomotor tone with endothelium-derived relaxing factors. ETs are the most potent vasoconstrictor substances yet identified and veins and renal vasculature are the most sensitive targets. They reduce cardiac output and have positive inotropic and chronotropic effects. ETs increase the secretion of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), aldosterone and catecholamines but reduce renal blood flow and glomerular filtration and they also have mitogenic properties. ETs bind to receptors (ETA and ETB), activate phospholipase C, modulate intracellular Ca2+ concentration and open Ca2+ channels. Vasoactive agents (adrenaline, angiotensin, vasopressin, thrombin, endotoxins) and hypoxia stimulate the release of ET and also ET gene expression. Raised concentrations of plasma ET have been found to occur in several clinical conditions such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock, pregnancy induced hypertension, arteriosclerosis, Raynaud's disease, subarachnoid haemorrhage, uraemia, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and surgical operations suggesting that ETs have a role in several patophysiological processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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