Endothelin-1(1-21) (ET-1(1-21)) is a strong candidate as a significant mediator in asthma, in part because of its powerful spasmogenic actions and its ability to enhance cholinergic nerve-mediated contraction in human and animal airway smooth muscle. In the study reported here, we have demonstrated that [125I]ET-1(1-31) binds specifically to BQ-123-sensitive sites (presumably ETA-receptors) and to sarafotoxin S6c (S6c)-sensitive sites (presumably ETB-receptors) in rat tracheal and pulmonary airways, as well as in lung alveoli. These sites coexist in tracheal airway smooth muscle and in alveolar tissue in approximately equal proportions. ET-1(1-21) and ET-1(1-31) were equipotent and approximately equally active as spasmogens in rat tracheal smooth muscle. Importantly, both peptides were shown to potentiate cholinergic nerve-mediated rat tracheal contraction, although ET-1(1-31) was less active in this regard. These data are consistent with the idea that ET-1(1-31) could play a significant mediator role in obstructive airway diseases such as asthma.
Department of Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA, Australia
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Professor R.G. Goldie, Department of Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia, 6907. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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