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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2001 December;43(4):257-61

language: English

Plasma levels of endothelin-1 increase in patients with sarcoidosis and fall after disease remission

Letizia C., Danese A., Reale M. G. *, Caliumi C., Delfini E., Subioli S., Cerci S., D’Erasmo E.

From the Depart­ment of Clin­i­cal Sci­ence, Chair of Inter­nal Med­i­cine
*Depart­ment of Experi­men­tal Med­i­cine and Pathol­o­gy, Uni­ver­sity “La Sapien­za”, ­Rome, Ita­ly


Back­ground. Sar­coi­do­sis is a chron­ic system­ic dis­ease, char­ac­ter­ized by an imbal­ance of immu­nity pro­cess­es and the pres­ence of gra­nu­lo­ma.
Endo­the­lin-1, a new vasoac­tive and bron­cho­con­stric­tive pep­tide, is a pow­er­ful mito­gen for ­smooth mus­cle ­cells and fibro­blasts and ­plays a ­role in the inflam­ma­tion ­state. We pos­tu­late ­that endo­the­lin-1 has a ­role in sar­coi­do­sis.
Meth­ods. We stud­ied the behav­iour of cir­cu­lat­ing lev­els of endo­the­lin-1 in 20 ­patients ­with sar­coi­do­sis and its cor­re­la­tion ­with ­some bio­chem­i­cal param­e­ters of activity dis­ease, ­such as eryth­ro­cyte sed­i­men­ta­tion ­rate (ESR) and ser­um angio­ten­sin-con­vert­ing ­enzyme (­SACE). We meas­ured ser­um lev­els of ESR, ­SACE, cal­cium and plas­ma endo­the­lin-1 lev­els in all ­patients at the begin­ning of the ­study and ­one ­again in 9 ­patients ­with clin­i­cal-bio­chem­i­cal remis­sion of dis­ease ­after ster­oid treat­ment.
­Results. In ­patients ­with sar­coi­do­sis, cir­cu­lat­ing lev­els of endo­the­lin-1, ­SACE and ESR ­were sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er (p<0.001) ­than ­those of ­healthy sub­jects. More­over, in ­patients ­with pul­mo­nary involve­ment, ­there was a sig­nif­i­cant sta­tis­ti­cal dif­fer­ence (p<0.001) ­between endo­the­lin-1 lev­els and radio­log­i­cal ­stage com­pared to nor­mal sub­jects. In the 9 ­patients ­with remis­sion of dis­ease, ­both endo­the­lin-1 lev­els and param­e­ters of activ­ity dis­ease nor­mal­ized.
Con­clu­sions. Our ­results ­seem to sug­gest ­that the ­increase of plas­ma endo­the­lin-1 lev­els in ­active sar­coi­do­sis can rep­re­sent an expres­sion of the endo­the­lial dys­func­tion and ­reflect the pic­ture of cel­lu­lar acti­va­tion.

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