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December 12, 1990

Endothelin-1 and Vasculitis

JAMA. 1990;264(22):2868. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450220030012

To the Editor.—  Endothelin-1 is a novel 21-residue vasoconstrictor peptide produced by vascular endothelial cells.1 It may play important roles in the pathogenesis of hypertension2 and has been shown recently to be a potent mitogen for vascular smooth-muscle cells.3Although the causes of atherosclerosis, Buerger's disease, and Takayasu's arteritis remain elusive, the vascular lesions represented by injured vascular endothelial cells associated with abnormal proliferation of the underlying vascular smooth muscle are pathological features in common among these entities. To elucidate its pathophysiological role in the development of systemic vascular diseases, we have measured basal plasma levels of immunoreactive endothelin-1 in patients with atherosclerosis, Buerger's disease, and Takayasu's arteritis.

Study.—  Thirty-five normal subjects (16 men and 19 women, aged 53.9 [ ± 16.3] years), 13 patients with ischemic heart disease (11 men and two women, aged 55.8 [ ± 7.0] years), 13 male patients with Buerger's disease (aged 53.8 [ ±