Endothelin 1, an endothelium-derived peptide, is expressed in neurons of the human spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia

A. Giaid, S. J. Gibson, N. B N Ibrahim, S. Legon, S. R. Bloom, M. Yanagisawa, T. Masaki, I. M. Varndell, J. M. Polak

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The localization of endothelin 1 mRNA and endothelin-like immunoreactivity was investigated in samples of neurologically normal nervous system tissue from 10 adults by using in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. Tissue sections of spinal cord and dorsal root ganglian were hybridized with an 35S-radiolabeled endothelin 1 complementary RNA probe. Autoradiograms showed labeled neurons in the spinal cord (laminae IV-VI and many motoneurons) and numerous small and large neurons in the dorsal root ganglia. Endothelin 1 transcripts were also found in association with the endothelial layer of some blood vessels in the white matter of the spinal cord. A similar distribution of immunoreactivity was seen using three antisera to endothelin 1, but fewer cells were immunostained than were labeled after the hybridization. Two other endothelin 1 antisera immunostained the endothelial lining of blood vessels in the spinal cord white matter but not neurons. In the ganglia, endothelin 1 transcripts were localized to all cells expressing β-preprotachykinin and most expressing calcitonin gene-related peptide mRNAs; in the majority of the motoneurons, coexistence of endothelin 1 and calcitonin gene-related peptide mRNAs was noted. There was a similar pattern of coexistence for respective peptide immunoreactivities in the ganglia and spinal cord. The expression of endothelin 1 mRNA in distinct neuronal cell types, suggests that this peptide plays a part in neural transmission/modulation and adds a further dimension to the known vascular-related actions of endothelin 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7634-7638
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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