Circulating levels of the endothelium-derived vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1 (ET-1) are increased in association with myocardial ischemia and infarction. The present study investigates whether ET-1 is synthesized and produced locally in the ischemic heart. Sixteen pigs were divided into three groups. In the first group, the left anterior descending coronary artery was occluded for 90 minutes, followed by 150 minutes of reperfusion (group A, n=8). Two additional groups were subjected to 90 minutes (group B, n=4) or 240 minutes (group C, n=4) of ischemia without reperfusion. Biopsies from the nonischemic and ischemic myocardium were rapidly obtained from the beating heart and subsequently examined by Northern blot, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. Arterial plasma ET-1 was measured before ischemia and at the end of the experiments. Northern blot revealed a twofold increase in ET-1 mRNA in the ischemic myocardium compared with the nonischemic myocardium. In situ hybridization showed a considerable increase in ET-1 mRNA over the ischemic cardiomyocytes. Substantial ET-1-like immunoreactivity (ET- 1-ir) was detected in cardiomyocytes in the ischemic region. In contrast, little or no ET-1-ir or mRNA was detected in nonischemic cardiomyocytes. Both in the ischemic and nonischemic regions, little ET-1-ir was detected in vascular endothelial cells or vascular smooth muscle cells. There was no difference in the intensity and distribution of ET-1 mRNA expression or ET- 1-ir among experimental groups A, B, and C. Arterial plasma ET-1 was increased only in group A, the reperfused group. In conclusion, these findings provide a definitive evidence for a de novo synthesis of ET-1 by cardiomyocytes subjected to ischemia in vivo.
- Northern blot
- in situ hybridization
- myocardial ischemia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine