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      The role of endothelin-1 in pulmonary arterial hypertension

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          Abstract

          Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but debilitating disease, which if left untreated rapidly progresses to right ventricular failure and eventually death. In the quest to understand the pathogenesis of this disease differences in the profile, expression and action of vasoactive substances released by the endothelium have been identified in patients with PAH. Of these, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is of particular interest since it is known to be an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor and also involved in vascular remodelling. Identification of ET-1 as a target for pharmacological intervention has lead to the discovery of a number of compounds that can block the receptors via which ET-1 mediates its effects. This review sets out the evidence in support of a role for ET-1 in the onset and progression of the disease and reviews the data from the various clinical trials of ET-1 receptor antagonists for the treatment of PAH.

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          Most cited references 95

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          ACCF/AHA 2009 expert consensus document on pulmonary hypertension a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents and the American Heart Association developed in collaboration with the American College of Chest Physicians; American Thoracic Society, Inc.; and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

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            Expression of endothelin-1 in the lungs of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

            Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by an increase in vascular tone or an abnormal proliferation of muscle cells in the walls of small pulmonary arteries. Endothelin-1 is a potent endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide with important mitogenic properties. It has therefore been suggested that endothelin-1 may contribute to increases in pulmonary arterial tone or smooth-muscle proliferation in patients with pulmonary hypertension. We studied the sites and magnitude of endothelin-1 production in the lungs of patients with various causes of pulmonary hypertension. We studied the distribution of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity (by immunocytochemical analysis) and endothelin-1 messenger RNA (by in situ hybridization) in lung specimens from 15 control subjects, 11 patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy (grades 4 through 6), and 17 patients with secondary pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arteriopathy of grades 1 through 3. In the controls, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was rarely seen in vascular endothelial cells. In the patients with pulmonary hypertension, endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity was abundant, predominantly in endothelial cells of pulmonary arteries with medial thickening and intimal fibrosis. Likewise, endothelin-1 messenger RNA was increased in the patients with pulmonary hypertension and was expressed primarily at sites of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity. There was a strong correlation between the intensity of endothelin-1-like immunoreactivity and pulmonary vascular resistance in the patients with plexogenic pulmonary arteriopathy, but not in those with secondary pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is associated with the increased expression of endothelin-1 in vascular endothelial cells, suggesting that the local production of endothelin-1 may contribute to the vascular abnormalities associated with this disorder.
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              Ambrisentan for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension: results of the ambrisentan in pulmonary arterial hypertension, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter, efficacy (ARIES) study 1 and 2.

              Ambrisentan is a propanoic acid-based, A-selective endothelin receptor antagonist for the once-daily treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Ambrisentan in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter, Efficacy Study 1 and 2 (ARIES-1 and ARIES-2) were concurrent, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that randomized 202 and 192 patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, respectively, to placebo or ambrisentan (ARIES-1, 5 or 10 mg; ARIES-2, 2.5 or 5 mg) orally once daily for 12 weeks. The primary end point for each study was change in 6-minute walk distance from baseline to week 12. Clinical worsening, World Health Organization functional class, Short Form-36 Health Survey score, Borg dyspnea score, and B-type natriuretic peptide plasma concentrations also were assessed. In addition, a long-term extension study was performed. The 6-minute walk distance increased in all ambrisentan groups; mean placebo-corrected treatment effects were 31 m (P=0.008) and 51 m (P 3 times the upper limit of normal. In 280 patients completing 48 weeks of treatment with ambrisentan monotherapy, the improvement from baseline in 6-minute walk at 48 weeks was 39 m. Ambrisentan improves exercise capacity in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Improvements were observed for several secondary end points in each of the studies, although statistical significance was more variable. Ambrisentan is well tolerated and is associated with a low risk of aminotransferase abnormalities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Glob Cardiol Sci Pract
                Glob Cardiol Sci Pract
                GCSP
                GCSP
                Global Cardiology Science & Practice
                Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals (Qatar )
                2305-7823
                2014
                18 June 2014
                : 2014
                : 2
                : 62-78
                Affiliations
                1Heart Science Centre, NHLI, Imperial College London, Harefield, Middlesex, UK UB9 6JH
                2Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre, Qatar Foundation, Qatar
                Author notes
                Article
                gcsp.2014.29
                10.5339/gcsp.2014.29
                4220438
                © 2014 Chester, Yacoub, licensee Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review Article
                Mechanism of Disease

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