Clinical experience with endothelin antagonists

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Endothelin-1, discovered in 1988, is a 21-amino-acid peptide and currently the most potent vasoconstrictor and pressor substance known. Generated by vascular endothelial cells in response to a variety of chemical and mechanical signals, endothelin-1 is known to potentiate the actions of other vasoconstrictor substances and act as a comitogen in addition to directly causing vasoconstriction. There is evidence that endothelin-1 may contribute to the pathophysiology of conditions associated with sustained vasoconstriction, such as hypertension and heart failure, vasospastic conditions, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, and atherogenesis. Studies using endothelin receptor antagonists show that endothelin-1 plays an important role in the maintenance of vascular tone and blood pressure in healthy humans, predominantly via an effect on the vascular smooth muscle ETA receptors. The endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan also effectively lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects and produces sustained and favorable effects on systemic and pulmonary hemodynamics in patients with chronic heart failure. A good side-effect profile, together with a potential for inhibition of atherogenesis, makes the endothelin receptor antagonists a potentially interesting class of novel agents for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. © 1998 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.




Webb, D. J., & Strachan, F. E. (1998). Clinical experience with endothelin antagonists. American Journal of Hypertension, 11(4 SUPPL. 2), 71S-79S.

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