Endothelin-1 induces mucosal mast cell degranulation in the rat small intestine

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The enhanced production of endothelial cell-derived vasoactive mediators and the activation of mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mucosal damage during ischemia and reperfusion injuries. The first objective of our study was to define the in vivo relation between endothelin-1 (ET-1) and the MC system. Secondly, we determined whether pretreatment with ET receptor antagonists would attenuate MC responses to exogenous ET-1. In the first series of experiments, increasing doses of ET-1 (0.1, 1 and 3 nmol/kg i.v.) were administered to anesthetized rats. In the second series, the animals were pretreated with equimolar doses of the ET-A receptor antagonist BQ-610 or ETR-P1/fl peptide, and the ET-B receptor antagonist IRL-1038. Intestinal perfusion changes and macrohemodynamics were recorded, and the proportion of degranulated MCs was determined in ileal biopsies. The average mucosal thickness was recorded with an image analysis system. ET-1 induced dose-dependent alterations in the hemodynamic and morphological parameters and caused pronounced mucosal injury, with a significant reduction in villus height. The ratio of degranulated MCs was similar in all ET-treated groups (77%, 82% and 86%) to that observed in animals subjected to 15-min ischemia and 60-min reperfusion (85% degranulation). Pretreatment with BQ-610 and ETR-P1/fl peptide attenuated the ET-1 induced alterations in the hemodynamic parameters and decreased structural injury to the mucosa. ET-induced MC degranulation was significantly inhibited by the ET-A receptor antagonists, but not by IRL-1038. These results indicate that elevated levels of circulating ET-1 might induce intestinal mucosal tissue injury and MC degranulation via activation of ET-A receptors, and raise the possibility that ET-A receptor antagonist administration could exert a potentially beneficial effect through a mechanism other than the blockade of vasoconstriction in pathologies associated with an increased ET-1 release. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1947-1958
Number of pages12
JournalLife sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2000



  • ETR-P1/fl peptide
  • Endothelin-1
  • Endothelin-A receptor antagonist
  • Intestine
  • Mast cell degranulation
  • Mucosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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