Endothelins are potent 21 amino acid vasoconstrictor isopeptides produced in different vascular tissues, including vascular endothelium. Endothelin-1 is the main endothelin generated by the endothelium and probably the most important in the cardiovascular system. Endothelin-1 acts through specific receptors termed ET(A), represented only on smooth muscle cells and having the function of growth promotion and mediating contractions, and ET(B), located both on smooth muscle cells, where they evoke contractions, and on endothelial cells, inducing relaxation by production of the endothelium-derived relaxing factor nitric oxide. In physiological conditions endothelin-1 administration causes vasodilation and vasoconstriction at low and high concentrations, respectively. However, administration of mixed ET(A)/(B) receptor antagonists causes slight or absent vasodilation, indicating that the direct vasoconstrictor effect of the peptide is probably masked by ET(B)-induced NO-dependent vasodilation. In essential hypertensive patients, the activity of exogenous endothelin-1 is either increased, similar or decreased as compared to normotensive subjects, depending on which vascular district or scheme of administration is considered. But although available evidence does not indicate increased endothelin-1 plasma levels in patients with essential hypertension, simultaneous antagonism of ET(A)/(B) receptors causes a greater degree of vasodilation in hypertensives than in normotensive subjects. Moreover administration of a selective ET(B) receptor antagonist causes vasoconstriction in normotensive subjects and vasodilation in essential hypertensive patients. Finally, the vasodilating effect of a mixed ET(A)/(B) receptor antagonist is inversely related to NO availability. Taken together these findings suggest that essential hypertension is characterized by increased endothelin-1 vasoconstrictor tone. This alteration seems to be dependent on decreased endothelial ET(B)-mediated NO production attributable to impaired NO availability. In such conditions endothelial ET(B)-induced vasodilation no longer compensates for the direct classical endothelin vasoconstrictor effect mediated by smooth muscle cell ET(A) and ET(B) receptors. Therefore endothelin-1 could potentially be involved in the pathogenesis of essential hypertension or of its complications, and blockade of this system is a fascinating new target for therapeutic intervention in this disease.
|Autori:||Taddei S; Virdis A; Ghiadoni L; Sudano I; Magagna A; Salvetti A|
|Titolo:||Role of endothelin in the control of peripheral vascular tone in human hypertension.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2001|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1023/A:1011400124060|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|