Endothelin (ET) is a peptide with profound vasoconstrictive potential. First isolated from porcine endothelial cell supernatant, it is produced also by smooth muscle, epithelial and circulating cells. Besides vasoconstriction, a wide spectrum of biological activities of ET (via activation of membrane receptors) has been described. These include regulation of other hormones and neurotransmitters, cellular growth and proliferation, bronchoconstriction, and, in the kidney, natriuresis and water diuresis. ET exerts its effects mainly in an autocrine and paracrine fashion. A high concentration of ET is found in urine, compared with plasma originating mainly from the kidney itself. In this review we focus on the role of urinary excretion of ET in children. ET excretion was determined under different physiological and pathological conditions. In premature infants and newborns, the daily excretion of ET (corrected for body surface) was higher than in older children; it was constant, and comparable to the values in healthy adults after the age of 2 years. Renal ET excretion correlated positively with urine flow in both healthy and sick children. Conditions with tubular and/or collecting duct cell damage, such as severe hypoxia, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, renal transplantation, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure, and contrast media cytotoxicity were characterized by elevated urinary excretion of ET. In conclusion, the renal excretion of ET is influenced by several factors, probably reflecting the intrarenal ET production. ET has a low specificity with regard to renal injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health