Endothelin-1 Receptor Binding and Cellular Signal Transduction in Cultured Human Brain Endothelial Cells


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. M. Spatz at Stroke Branch, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Building 36, Room 4B12, Bethesda, MD 20892, U.S.A.


Abstract: The kinetic properties of endothelin-1 (ET-1) binding sites and the production of inositol phosphates (IPs; IP1, IP2, IP3), cyclic AMP, thromboxane B2, and prostaglandin F induced by various endothelins (ET-1, ET-2, ET-3, and sarafotoxin S6b) were examined in endothelial cells derived from human brain microvessels (HBECs). The presence of both high- and low-affinity binding sites for ET-1 with KD1 = 122 pM and KD2 = 31 nM, and Bmax1 = 124 fmol/mg of protein and Bmax2 = 909 fmol/mg of protein, respectively, was demonstrated on intact HBECs. ET-1 dose-dependently stimulated IP accumulation with EC50 (IP3) = 0.79 nM, whereas ET-3 was ineffective. The order of potency for displacing ET-1 from high-affinity binding sites (ET-1 > ET-2 > sarafotoxin S6b > ET-3) correlated exponentially with the ability of respective ligands to induce IP3 formation. ET-1-induced IP3 formation by HBEC was inhibited by the ETA receptor antagonist, BQ123. The protein kinase C activator phorbol myristate ester dose-dependently inhibited the ET-1-stimulated production of IPs, whereas pertussis toxin was ineffective. Cyclic AMP production by HBECs was enhanced by both phorbol myristate ester and ET-1, and potentiated by combined treatment with ET-1 and phorbol myristate ester. Data indicate that protein kinase C plays a role in regulating the ET-1-induced activation of phospholipase C, whereas interaction of different messenger systems may regulate ET-1-induced accumulation of cyclic AMP. ET-1 also stimulated endothelial prostaglandin F production, suggesting that activation of phospholipase A2 is most likely secondary to IP3-mediated intracellular calcium mobilization because both ET-1-induced IP3 and prostaglandin F were inhibited by BQ123. These findings are the first demonstration of ET-1 (ETA-type) receptors linked to phospholipase C and phospholipase A2 activation in HBECs.