17Beta-estradiol modulates endothelin-1 expression and release in human endothelial cells

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OBJECTIVE: In this study the role of 17beta-estradiol (E2) in the regulation of endothelin-1 (ET-1) mRNA expression and secretion was investigated in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). METHODS: Endothelial cells were either deprived of or treated with 17beta-estradiol (10(-9), 10(-7) M) for 48 h. After the incubation, the effect of E2 on ET-1 gene expression was evaluated by Northern blot analysis. ET-1 release into the media was measured by radioimmunoassay after 6 h of incubation under basal conditions and upon stimulation with thrombin (4 U/ml). In addition, the cyclic guanosine 5'-monophosphate (cGMP) content of cells was assayed by immunoassay. In order to exclude the role of nitric oxide (NO) in E2-induced effects on endothelin-1 gene expression and secretion, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, N-nitro L-arginine methyl ester (1 mM) (L-NAME) was added to the media of some cultures. RESULTS: Incubation of HUVECs with 10(-9) and 10(-7) M E2 for 48 h resulted in a 30 and 47% inhibition of ET-1 mRNA expression, respectively. Incubation with E2 also decreased the basal and thrombin-stimulated ET-1 release while increasing the cGMP content of cells significantly. NOS inhibitor L-NAME increased the release of ET-1 from E2-incubated cells but did not alter the ET-1 release from hormone-deprived cells. However, ET-1 secretion of E2-treated cells were significantly less than the deprived ones. Northern blot analyses also demonstrated that inhibition of NOS only partly attenuated the effect of E2 on ET-1 gene expression. In the presence of L-NAME, treatment with 10(-7) M E2 caused a 12% decrease in ET-1 gene expression. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that E2 may play both direct and indirect role in regulation of ET-1 gene expression and production in human endothelial cells. E2-induced increase in NO but decrease in ET-1 production may partly explain the mechanism of the protective effects of the hormone on the cardiovascular system.
Humans, Analysis of Variance, Cyclic GMP, Nitric Oxide, Cells, Cultured, Endothelium, Vascular, Estradiol, Gene Expression, RNA, Messenger, Endothelin-1, Thrombin, Blotting, Northern, Stimulation, Chemical