Saphenous vein endothelin system expression and activity in African American patients

Ashley L. Grubbs, Mark P. Anstadt, Adviye Ergul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective - Plasma endothelin (ET)-1 levels are significantly higher in African American hypertensive patients than in white hypertensive patients. However, whether the molecular components of vascular ET-1 biosynthesis and function are altered in this population remains to be established. Accordingly, the overall goal of this study was to investigate the effects of race on vascular mRNA and protein levels of ET-converting enzyme (ECE)-1 subisoforms, ET-1, and ET receptor profiles in hypertension. Methods and Results - Saphenous vein samples were obtained from African American (n = 13) and white (n = 15) patients undergoing coronary artery grafting surgery. The expression of preproET-1 and of ECE-1a was upregulated ≈2- and 3-fold, respectively, in African Americans. In endothelium-intact vessels, the ETA expression was higher in whites. In endothelium-denuded vessels, the ETB mRNA was 3-fold higher in African Americans, suggesting that vasoconstriction-promoting ETB receptors are upregulated in this population. Vascular tissue ET-1 levels and ECE-1 activity were also augmented in African. American patients. Conclusions - This study demonstrated that the biosynthetic pathway of ET-1 is activated to a higher degree and that the ETB receptor subtype expression is altered in the peripheral vasculature of African American hypertensive patients. The augmented synthesis and altered expression of ETB receptors may both contribute to the increased incidence of hypertension and related complications in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1122-1127
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelin-converting enzyme
  • Gene expression
  • Hypertension
  • Race
  • Receptor subtype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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