Recent studies have revealed that endothelins (ETs) have at least two types of receptors. One receptor has high affinity to ET-1 and ET-2 and low affinity to ET-3 (A type). The other receptor binds almost equally to ET-1, ET-2, and ET-3 (B type). In this study, microlocalization of mRNA coding for the A-type and B-type ET receptors was carried out in the rat kidney using a reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction assay of individual microdissected renal tubule segments along the nephron, glomeruli, vasa recta bundle, and arcuate arteries. Large signals for the B-type receptor polymerase chain reaction product were detected in the initial and terminal inner medullary collecting duct and the glomerulus, while small signals were found in the cortical collecting duct and outer medullary collecting duct, vasa recta bundle, and arcuate artery. In contrast, A-type receptor mRNA was detected only in the glomerulus, vasa recta bundle, and arcuate artery. Thus, the two ET receptor subtypes are distributed differently along the nephron. This suggests that the two types of receptors and ET families may affect kidney functioning in different ways.
Y Terada, K Tomita, H Nonoguchi, F Marumo