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      Enhanced Expressions of Endothelin-Converting Enzyme and Endothelin Receptors in Human Colonic Tissues of Crohn’s Disease


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          Endothelin-1, a powerful vasoconstrictor, forms the endothelin system together with endothelin-converting enzyme and endothelin type A and type B receptors. These endothelin system components are considered to participate in inflammatory and wound healing responses. Previous reports have suggested a role for the endothelin-1 in the pathology of Crohn’s disease. In the present study, we immunohistochemically investigated the expressions of the endothelin system components in affected human intestinal tissues of Crohn’s disease. Eighteen surgical specimens of colonic tissue obtained from patients with Crohn’s disease and 12 normal colonic tissues as controls were examined. Frozen tissue sections cut from the samples were subjected to the immunohistochemical single and double staining. The endothelin system components were expressed mainly in the muscular layers and blood vessels. In diseased colonic tissues, inflammatory infiltration and fibrotic tissue reactions with marked smooth muscle cell proliferation were frequently seen, and were closely associated with increased expressions of the endothelin system components. These results strongly suggest that endothelin-converting enzyme and endothelin type A and type B receptors collectively play a role in the inflammatory and fibrogenic processes of Crohn’s disease. Especially, submucosal smooth muscle proliferation, a histological hallmark of strictures, may be attributable to the upregulated endothelin system.

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          Most cited references 30

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          ECE-1: a membrane-bound metalloprotease that catalyzes the proteolytic activation of big endothelin-1.

          Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a 21-residue vasoactive peptide, is produced in vascular endothelial cells from the 38-residue inactive intermediate big endothelin-1 via a specific cleavage at Trp-21-Val-22. The protease that catalyzes the conversion, endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE), constitutes a potential regulatory site for the production of the active peptide. We report the identification of ECE-1, a novel membrane-bound neutral metalloprotease that is expressed abundantly in endothelial cells in vivo and is structurally related to neutral endopeptidase 24.11 and Kell blood group protein. When transfected into cultured cells that normally secrete only big ET-1, the ECE-1 cDNA conferred the ability to secrete mature ET-1. In transfected cells, ECE-1 processes endogenously synthesized big ET-1 as well as exogenously supplied big ET-1, which interacts with ECE-1 on the cell surface. ECE-1 may provide a target for pharmacological intervention to alter ET-1 production.
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            Endothelin receptor subtype B mediates synthesis of nitric oxide by cultured bovine endothelial cells.

             T Imai,  K Ohta,  T. Emori (1993)
            Endothelins (ET) produce endothelium-dependent vasodilation through nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. The present study was designed to elucidate the cellular mechanism by which ET induces synthesis and release of endothelium-derived NO by cultured bovine endothelial cells (EC). Binding studies revealed that bovine EC membrane had the binding sites of a novel agonist (BQ3020) for non-isopeptide-selective receptor subtype (ETB). Affinity labeling studies showed a major labeled band with the apparent molecular mass of 50 kD. Northern blot analysis demonstrated the expression of mRNA for ETB receptor. BQ3020 rapidly and dose dependently induced formation of inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate and increased intracellular Ca2+ concentrations in fura-2-loaded cells. Concomitantly, BQ3020 dose dependently stimulated production of both nitrate/nitrite (NOx) and cyclic GMP; a highly significant correlation existed between NOx and cGMP production. The stimulatory effect on NOx and cGMP production by ETB agonist was inhibited by NO synthase inhibitor monomethyl-L-arginine; this effect was reversed by coaddition of L-arginine, but not D-arginine. NOx and cGMP production stimulated by BQ3020 was inhibited by pretreatment with pertussis toxin. ETB agonist-induced NOx production was blocked by a calmodulin inhibitor and an intracellular Ca2+ chelator, but not by an extracellular Ca2+ chelator or a Ca2+ channel blocker. These data suggest that endothelins stimulate ETB receptor-mediated phosphoinositide breakdown via pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein(s), which triggers release of intracellular Ca2+, thereby activating Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent NO synthase in EC.
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              Both ETA and ETB receptors mediate contraction to endothelin-1 in human blood vessels.

              Endothelin (ET)-1 has potent vascular effects. Two endothelin receptors have been cloned, namely, the ETA receptor, which preferentially binds ET-1, and the ETB receptor, which equally binds ET-1 and ET-3 and preferentially sarafotoxin S6c. We characterized endothelin receptor subtypes on vascular smooth muscle and endothelium of isolated human internal mammary artery (IMA) and vein (IMV) and porcine coronary artery (PCA) using the ETA antagonists FR139317 and BQ-123, the ETB ligand sarafotoxin S6c, and the ETA/ETB antagonist Ro 47-0203 (bosentan). In endothelium-denuded IMA and PCA and less so in IMV, FR139317 and BQ-123 (in PCA only) shifted the concentration-contraction curves to ET-1 parallel to the right. However, even at 10(-5) mol/L, FR139317 did not inhibit a high-sensitivity portion of the concentration-contraction curve. Moreover, the ETB receptor agonist sarafotoxin S6c induced contraction in vessels preincubated with FR139317. IMV was significantly more sensitive to the contractile effect of ET-1 and sarafotoxin S6c than was IMA (P < .05). Prolonged incubation with sarafotoxin S6c (to downregulate ETB receptors) and FR139317 eliminated the contraction resistant to FR139317. The ETA/ETB receptor antagonist bosentan caused a parallel shift of the concentration-contraction curve to the right at all concentrations of endothelin. ETB receptor mRNA was detected by Northern blot analysis in IMA and aortic smooth muscle cells. In precontracted IMA and PCA with endothelium, sarafotoxin S6c did not cause endothelium-dependent relaxations, whereas transient responses occurred in IMV. Vascular smooth muscle cells of human IMA, IMV, and PCA contain both ETA and ETB receptors, whereas the endothelium of IMA and PCA does not express functional ETB receptors linked to nitric oxide and/or prostacyclin production. Hence, inhibition of endothelin-induced contraction in patients requires the use of combined ETA/ETB antagonists.

                Author and article information

                J Clin Biochem Nutr
                Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition
                the Society for Free Radical Research Japan (Kyoto, Japan )
                March 2008
                1 March 2008
                : 42
                : 2
                : 126-132
                [1 ]Department of Pathology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 545-8585, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Cardiology, Osaka City General Hospital, Osaka 534-0021, Japan
                [3 ]Department of Gastroenterology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 545-8585, Japan
                [4 ]Department of Surgical Oncology, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 545-8585, Japan
                [5 ]Biological Research Laboratories, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., Tokyo 140-8710, Japan
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: +81-6-6645-3740 Fax: +81-6-6645-3742 E-mail: maki@ 123456med.osaka-cu.ac.jp
                Copyright © 2008 JCBN

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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