A recently described peptide hormone, endothelin, is a potent vasoconstrictor, but it is unclear whether endothelin has other biological actions. These experiments extend the range of biological actions of endothelin to stimulation of mitogenesis. Endothelin at low concentrations (0.1-10 nM) induced mitogenesis by quiescent rat glomerular mesangial cells in culture. Mitogenesis induced by endothelin was accompanied by activation of phospholipase C with increased inositol phosphate turnover and increments of intracellular [Ca2+]. Endothelin also activated Na+/H+ exchange, causing cytosolic alkalinization, and enhanced transcription of the c-fos protooncogene, additional biochemical signals closely linked to proliferation. In addition to being a vasoconstrictor, endothelin thus also functions as a mitogen, presumably through activation of phospholipase C.
M S Simonson, S Wann, P Mené, G R Dubyak, M Kester, Y Nakazato, J R Sedor, M J Dunn