Antihypertrophic effects of combined inhibition of the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) and neutral endopeptidase (NEP) in progressive, tachycardia-induced experimental heart failure
Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a peptide that has been implicated in congestive heart failure (CHF). Although increased concentrations of circulating ET-1 have been repeatedly demonstrated, the activation of local ET-1 in target tissues of CHF remains poorly defined. Our objective was to characterize ET-1 tissue concentrations and gene expression of prepro ET-1 in myocardial, renal, and pulmonary tissue in rapid ventricular pacing-induced canine CHF. Progressive rapid ventricular pacing (38 days) resulted in impaired cardiovascular hemodynamics, increased atrial and left ventricular mass, decreased renal sodium excretion, and increased ET-1 plasma concentrations (all P < 0.05). Tissue analysis revealed significant increases in local ET-1 during CHF in left ventricular, renal, and pulmonary tissue, whereas a moderate increase in left atrial ET-1 did not reach statistical significance. In contrast, prepro-ET-1 gene expression was increased more than threefold in pulmonary tissue and more than twofold in left atrial myocardium with no increase in left ventricular or renal gene expression. The present studies demonstrate a differential pattern of ET-1 activation in cardiorenal and pulmonary tissue with a strong accumulation of ET-1 in kidney and lung during CHF. Although the observed increase in left ventricular and renal ET-1 in association with unaltered gene expression is consistent with increased uptake, pulmonary and atrial tissue may contribute to increased circulating and local ET-1 in CHF.