In this study, we analyzed the effect of endothelin-1 (ET-1) on expression of the lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) receptor-1 LOX-1 and on oxLDL uptake in primary cultures of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). LOX-1 mRNA was quantified by standard-calibrated competitive RT-PCR, LOX-1 protein expression by Western analysis and endothelial oxLDL uptake using DiI-labeled oxLDL. ET-1 induces LOX-1 mRNA expression, reaching its maximum after 1 h (160 +/- 14% of control, 100 nM ET-1, P < 0.05). This increased ET-1-mediated LOX-1 mRNA expression could be inhibited by endothelin receptor B antagonist BQ-788. In addition, ET-1 stimulates LOX-1 protein expression and oxLDL uptake in HUVEC. The augmented oxLDL uptake by ET-1 is mediated by endothelin receptor B, but not by protein kinases. These data support a new pathophysiological mechanism how locally and systemically increased ET-1 levels could promote LOX-1-mediated oxLDL uptake in human endothelial cells and the development and progression of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.