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Year : 1997  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 281-288

Endothelins: A brief review

Correspondence Address:
S Balakrishnan

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The endothelin family of peptides are very potent endogenous vasoconstrictor and pressor agents, secreted by various cells and tissues in the human body. Of the 3 isoforms, endothelin is the major isoform produced by the vascular endothelium. Two endothelin receptor subtypes have so far been cloned in mammalian species, ETA and ETB. Since their discovery in 1988, the endothelins have been the subject of intense research on their physiological function and potential pathophysiological role in various disease states. There is now good evidence that endothelin regulates vascular tone and blood pressure and is important in the regulation of various functions like pulmonary, endocrine, central nervous system and foetal development. Studies with endothelin receptor antagonists have underlined the important role of endothelins in various disease states like chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, subarachinoid haemorrhage, vasospastic disorders and some developmental disorders. There are now a number of selective ETA and combined ETA/B receptor antagonists available for preclinical studies. Some of these agents are currently being assessed in early phase clinical trials. However, it is still not clear which of these will prove to be of most therapeutic value.


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