Pathophysiology of endothelin in the cardiovascular system

Annu Rev Physiol. 1999;61:391-415. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.61.1.391.


In this article, we review the basic pharmacological and biochemical features of endothelin and the pathophysiological roles of endothelin in cardiovascular diseases. Development of receptor antagonists has accelerated the pace of investigations into the pathophysiological roles of endogenous endothelin-1 in various diseases, e.g. chronic heart failure, renal diseases, hypertension, cerebral vasospasm, and pulmonary hypertension. In chronic heart failure, the expression of endothelin-1 and its receptors in cardiomyocytes is increased, and treatment with an endothelin receptor antagonist improves survival and cardiac function. Endothelin receptor antagonists also improve other cardiovascular diseases. These results suggest that the interference with endothelin pathway either by receptor blockade or by inhibition of endothelin converting enzyme may provide novel therapeutic drugs strategies for multiple disease states.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology*
  • Endothelin Receptor Antagonists
  • Endothelins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Endothelin Receptor Antagonists
  • Endothelins