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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression and function of endothelins, endothelin receptors, and endothelin converting enzyme in the porcine trachea.

Endothelins (ETs) can modulate the airway smooth muscle tone. Using simultaneous measurements of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and tension as well as the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), we examined ET systems in the porcine trachea. In the functional study, the application of ET-1, ET-3 or sarafotoxin S6c (S6c) caused increases in [Ca2+]i and tension, in a concentration-dependent manner. These ET ligands were found to increase the Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofilament of the tracheal smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The contractions induced by ET-1 (10(-7) M), an ET receptor (ET-R) non-selective agonist, were much greater than those induced by S6c, an ET(B)-R selective agonist. BQ-123 (10(-6) M), an ET(A)-R antagonist, inhibited the ET-1 induced contraction. These functional experiments suggested the presence of both functioning ET(A)- and ET(B)-Rs in tracheal SMCs. RT-PCR experiments revealed that the tracheal SMCs expressed both ET(A)-R and ET(B)-R mRNAs, while tracheal epithelial cells (EpCs) predominantly expressed ET(A)-R mRNA. The porcine tracheal SMCs and EpCs also expressed pre-pro ET-1 (ppET-1), ppET-3, and endothelin converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) mRNAs. These results suggested that ETs induce contraction of porcine tracheal SMCs not only by increasing [Ca2+]i but also increasing the Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofilament and that ETs could potentially be the autocrine and/or paracrine transmitters to regulate the contraction in the porcine airway smooth muscle.[1]


  1. Expression and function of endothelins, endothelin receptors, and endothelin converting enzyme in the porcine trachea. Yoshimura, H., Nishimura, J., Sakihara, C., Kobayashi, S., Takahashi, S., Kanaide, H. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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