Endothelin is a family of peptides that play a role in regulating various physiological processes in the body, particularly the cardiovascular system.
There are three main isoforms of endothelin: endothelin-1 (ET-1), endothelin-2 (ET-2), and endothelin-3 (ET-3), with endothelin-1 being the most extensively studied.
Endothelins are primarily produced by endothelial cells, which line the interior of blood vessels.
They act as vasoconstrictors, meaning they cause blood vessels to narrow, leading to an increase in blood pressure.
Additionally, endothelins are involved in regulating blood flow, inflammation, and cell growth. They have been associated with various cardiovascular conditions and are of interest in the study of conditions like hypertension, heart failure, and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Abnormal regulation of endothelins can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases, making them a target for research and potential therapeutic interventions.
There are medications available that can modulate the effects of endothelins, which are used to treat conditions like pulmonary arterial hypertension.