Endothelin receptor A expression in human inflammatory cells.
ABSTRACT Most inflammatory diseases show elevated levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) probably due to an alteration in vascular structure and function with activation/accumulation of inflammatory cells. The ET receptors (ET(A), ET(B)) are widely expressed in all human vessels, consistent with the main role of ET-1 in maintaining physiological vascular tone. Previous findings have shown the expression on inflammatory cells such as neutrophils (PMNs) and macrophages (MØs) of ET-1 and endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1) (the key enzyme in the biosynthesis of ET-1). Therefore the role of ET-1 cannot be related only to the vasoactivity. Our study was aimed to determine the expression and the cellular location of ET receptors in both human PMNs and MØs by the use of RT-PCR assay, Western blot analysis and immunocytological methods. Our results showed for the first time that PMNs and MØs clearly expressed ET(A) (mRNA and protein). Considering that the overproduction of ET-1 following endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, contributes to pathophysiological processes such as vascular hypertrophy, cell proliferation and fibrosis, our results suggest that PMNs and MØs can also play a key role in vascular dysfunctions via the possible formation of an autocrine loop between ET-1 and ET(A).