Contractile endothelin-B (ETB) receptors in human small bronchi

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Abstract

Endothelins (ETs) are a family of novel regulatory peptides and various lines of evidence suggest an important role for ETs in regulating pulmonary function. Two receptors for endothelin, ETA and ETB, have been found in the human lung, and according to recent studies a non-ETA receptor seems to mediate the contraction of large sized human bronchi. Several studies have emphasized the importance of small bronchi in the pathogenesis of airway disease. In the present paper, improved methodology was used which enables in vitro studies of small human bronchi down to a diameter of 0.5-1.0 mm. Using the new methodology we have tried to further characterize this receptor. Small bronchi from the distal parts of the bronchial tree were obtained from pulmonary tissue removed from 15 patients with lung cancer. They were dissected and cut into ring segments, in which isometric tension was recorded. ET-1, ET-2 and ET-3 elicited strong concentration-dependent contractions of the human small bronchus. Basically, the three peptides were equipotent with about the same maximal response. Upon reapplication, they all showed the same tachyphylaxis pattern, reaching half the initial contraction. Comparative analysis of IRL 1620, a selective ETB receptor agonist, revealed that the effect of the ETB agonist was, in all respects, similar to the responses induced by the ETs. PD 145065, a combined ETA/ETB receptor antagonist competitively inhibited the contractions induced by IRL 1620, whereas FR139317, a selective ETA receptor antagonist, was without effect. In conclusion, the present study shows that accurate measurements can be made in vitro on small human bronchi and all present data are in favour of an ETB receptor mediating endothelin-induced contraction of human bronchi smaller than 1.0 mm.

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  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-355
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes