Sensitivity to endothelin-1 is decreased in isolated livers of endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase knockout mice

De Gottardi, Andrea; Biecker, Erwin; Koshy, Abraham; Bohler, Dieter; Shaw, Sidney; Sägesser, Hans; Reichen, Jürg (2006). Sensitivity to endothelin-1 is decreased in isolated livers of endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase knockout mice. Comparative hepatology, 5, p. 9. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1476-5926-5-9

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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatic sinusoidal resistance is regulated by vasoactive factors including endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO). In the absence of NO, vasoconstrictor response to endothelin is expected to predominate. Therefore, we hypothesized sensitivity to endothelin to be increased in mice lacking the endothelial cell NO synthase gene. Response of vascular resistance to endothelin was assessed in the in situ perfused liver of endothelial constitutive nitric oxide synthase (ecNOS) knockout and wild type mice. Livers were also harvested for RNA and protein isolation for quantitative PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The expression of endothelin receptors, isoenzymes of NO synthase, heme-oxygenase and adrenomedullin was quantified. RESULTS: Endothelin increased hepatic vascular resistance in a dose-dependent manner in both strains; however, this increase was significantly less in ecNOS knockout mice at physiologic concentrations. Expression of heme-oxygenases and adrenomedullin was similar in both groups, whereas inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein was not detectable in either strain. mRNA levels of pre-pro-endothelin-1 and ETB receptor were comparable in both strains, while mRNA for ETA receptor was decreased in ecNOS knockouts. CONCLUSION: Livers of ecNOS knockout mice have a decreased sensitivity to endothelin at physiologic concentrations; this is associated with a decreased expression of ETA receptors, but not with other factors, such as iNOS, ETB receptors, adrenomedullin or heme-oxygenase. Further studies targeting adaptive changes in ETA receptor distribution and/or intracellular signaling downstream of the receptor are indicated.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Tiefenau Hospital [discontinued] > Forschungsgruppe Vasoaktive Peptide [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Visceral Research [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Shaw, Sidney, Reichen, Jürg






BioMed Central




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

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URI: (FactScience: 744)

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