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This study aimed to investigate the influence of different forms of tissue hypoxia on the expression of the endothelin genes in kidneys and livers. Tissue hypoxia in rats was induced by five different manoeuvres, namely hypoxia (8% O2), functional anaemia (0.1% CO), haemorrhage (haematocrit, hct = 0.12), cobalt treatment (60 mg/kg) for 6 h each and renal artery stenosis (0.2-mm clips) for 2 days. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) mRNA levels in the kidneys were increased by 200% with renal artery stenosis, 70% by hypoxia, 50% by anaemia, 30% by CO, but were not changed by cobalt. ET-3 mRNA in the kidneys decreased during renal artery clipping and cobalt treatment and were not significantly changed under the other conditions. ET-2 mRNA was not detected in the kidneys and livers. The abundance of ET-1 in the livers of normoxic animals was about 15% of that found in the kidney. Hypoxia increased ET-1 mRNA by 200%, haemorrhage by 400%, whilst CO and cobalt did not change hepatic ET-1 gene expression. The abundance of ET-3 mRNA in the livers of normoxic animals was about 6% of that found in the kidneys. The expression of the ET-3 gene in the livers was decreased by CO, but was not changed by any of the other experimental conditions used. These findings suggest that hyoxaemia and tissue hypoxia are moderate stimuli for the expression of the ET-1 gene but not for the ET-3 gene in the kidney and more potent stimuli in the liver, whilst cobalt does not activate ET-1 gene expression in the kidneys nor the livers.


Journal article


Pflugers Arch

Publication Date





587 - 593


Anemia, Animals, Endothelins, Erythropoietin, Gene Expression, Hypoxia, Kidney, Liver, Male, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley