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Pharmacol Ther. 1996;72(2):109-48.

The endothelin system and its potential as a therapeutic target in cardiovascular disease.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Endothelin (ET)-1, an endothelium-derived peptide, is the most potent vasoconstrictor agent described to date. ET-1 also has positive inotropic and chronotropic effects in the heart and is a co-mitogen in both cardiac and vascular myocytes. The major elements of the system involved in formation of ET-1 and its isopeptides, as well as the receptors mediating their effects, have been cloned and characterised. Antagonists of the ET receptors are now available, and selective inhibitors of the ET-converting enzymes are being developed. Early studies using receptor antagonists support the involvement of ET-1 in the pathophysiology of several cardiovascular diseases. The relative merits of ET-converting enzyme inhibitors and receptor antagonists for the treatment of cardiovascular disease are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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