Endothelin-1 depresses tracheal mucus velocity in ovine airways via ET- A receptors

Juan R. Sabater, Ricardo Otero, William M. Abraham, Adam Wanner, Thomas G. O'Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent constrictor of bronchial smooth muscle, but there is limited information on its actions on the airway mucociliary clearance in vivo. The purpose of this study was to determine (1) the effect of aerosolized ET-1 on tracheal mucus velocity (TMV), a marker of mucociliary clearance, in sheep and (2) if the ET-1-induced effects were mediated by ET- A or ET-B receptors. To measure TMV, radiopaque teflon particles were insufflated into six intubated, spontaneously breathing, adult sheep, and the velocity at which these particles traveled up the trachea was measured using a previously reported roentgenographic technique. After baseline TMV measurements, 50 breaths of either ET-1 (10-7 M) or vehicle (phosphate- buffered saline) were aerosolized into the airways. TMV measurements were then obtained over a 2-h period. After exposure to ET-1, mean TMV decreased significantly as compared with vehicle, the effects being most marked within 30 min after administration (54%, p < 0.05). On subsequent days, animals were pretreated with an aerosolized ET-A receptor antagonist (BQ-123) or an ET-B receptor antagonist (BQ-788) before exposure to ET-1. When ET-1 was given after BQ-123, no significant drop in TMV was noted. In contrast, pretreatment with BQ-788 exhibited no protective effect on the decrease in TMV. The ET-1 effects were not influenced by pretreatment with either the cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor indomethacin or the leukotriene receptor antagonist MK-571, indicating that ET-1-induced depression in TMV does not involve the activation of prostanoids or peptide leukotrienes. Thus, exogenous ET-1 reduces TMV, an in vivo effect that is mediated through stimulation of ET-A receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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