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A Journal on Diseases of the Respiratory System

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Thoracic Endoscopy
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Pneumologica 2000 September-December;39(3-4):111-22

language: Italian

Role of endothelin in the respiratory system

Rossi F., Gallelli L., Marrocco G., Capristo C., Miraglia Del Giudice M., Decimo F., Brunese F. P., Capristo A. F., D'Agostino B.


The bronchmotor tone is the results of a complex interaction between neurotransmitter release and local mediators. The efferent neurohumoral pathways to the muscular, vascular and glandular element include parasympathetic nerves, and non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) neurotransmission. It is currently recognised that the characteristic features of asthma are airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammatory changes to the airways. An important mediator of these mechanisms is endothelin-1 (ET-1), able to induce bronchoconstriction, airway hyperresponsiveness to histamine and inflammatory cell recruitment. Furthermore, several studies in the literature showed increased levels of ET-1 in bronchalveolar lavage of asthmatic patients. Therefore, in the light of the involvement of ET-1 asthmatic disease, it could be suggested that ET-1 receptor antagonists and endothelin converting enzyme (ECE) inhibitors may useful for investigating mechanisms of bronchopulmonary alterations of asthmatic diseases, and possibly reduce airway hyperresponsiveness in asthmatic patients.

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