The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 359–374

Endothelin-converting enzyme in human tissues

  • Anthony P. Davenport
  • Rhoda E. Kuc
  • Christopher Plumpton
  • James W. Mockridge
  • Patrick J. Barker
  • Neville S. Huskisson
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1003236628701

Cite this article as:
Davenport, A.P., Kuc, R.E., Plumpton, C. et al. Histochem J (1998) 30: 359. doi:10.1023/A:1003236628701

Abstract

Our aim was to determine whether the expression of endothelin-converting enzyme in human tissues would correlate with the distribution of its substrate, big endothelin-1, and its product, the mature peptide. Site-directed antisera raised against the conserved C-terminus of the mammalian enzyme were used to measure the immunoreactive enzyme in microsomal fractions prepared from tissue homogenates and to localize staining to the endothelial cells lining large conduit and smaller resistance vessels within cardiac, adrenal, respiratory and brain tissue. The activity of endothelin-converting enzyme was measured and characterized in isolated endothelial cells. This pattern of staining in the vascular endothelium paralleled that of mature endothelin and big endothelin-1, and these peptides were detectable by radioimmunoassay in all tissues examined. Immunoreactive endothelin-converting enzyme localized to other cell types, including bronchial epithelial cells, and to fibres within the glial limitans, neuronal processes and cell bodies of the cerebral cortex. Although perivascular astrocytes in the subcortical white matter displayed intense endothelin-converting enzyme-like immunoreactivity, endothelin staining was not detected. The results suggest that endothelin-converting enzyme has a ubiquitous distribution within the human vascular endothelium and is positioned to catalyse the conversion of big endothelin-1 to the biologically active endothelin-1, which on release may contribute to the maintenance of basal tone in humans. Endothelin-converting enzyme localized to epithelial cells in peripheral tissues or astrocytes within the brain may be upregulated in pathophysiological conditions in which endothelin levels are increased and could represent a further target for therapeutic intervention by enzyme inhibitors. © 1998 Chapman & Hall

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony P. Davenport
    • 1
  • Rhoda E. Kuc
    • 1
  • Christopher Plumpton
    • 1
  • James W. Mockridge
    • 1
  • Patrick J. Barker
  • Neville S. Huskisson
  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacology UnitUniversity of Cambridge, Addenbrookes HospitalCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations