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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 219

of 'Pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis'

Endothelin receptors in rat liver: lipocytes as a contractile target for endothelin 1.
Housset C, Rockey DC, Bissell DM
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993;90(20):9266.
The endothelins (ETs) form a group of three vasoactive peptides (ET-1, ET-2, and ET-3) for which two types of cellular receptors have been identified, types A and B ET receptors (ETA and ETB receptors, respectively). To address possible targets for ETs within the liver, we isolated the four principal liver cell populations and placed them in short-term primary culture. By ligand-binding assay and mRNA levels, expression of ET receptors was greatest on hepatic lipocytes (Ito cells or fat-storing cells), which are perisinusoidal cells exhibiting features of smooth muscle cells. Moreover, lipocytes expressed both ETA and ETB receptors. The mRNA for ETB receptor, but not for ETA receptor, was detectable in sinusoidal endothelial cells and Kupffer cells; neither mRNA was detectable in hepatocytes. Both ET-1 and ET-3 elicited contraction of activated lipocytes cultured on collagen lattices; the EC50 value for ET-1 was 3 +/- 1 nM and for ET-3 was 17 +/- 12 nM. In cell isolates from injured liver (after administration of carbon tetrachloride), expression of ET receptors was unchanged. However, mRNA for ET-1 was significantly increased in activated lipocytes, suggesting an autocrine loop for the initiation of lipocyte contraction. The findings imply that ET-1 may play a role in regulating sinusoidal perfusion through its effect on lipocytes, particularly in injury states.
Liver Core Center, University of California, San Francisco.