MONTREAL, CN (September 10, 2009) − One of the most intriguing developments in recent medical science is the discovery of the human chemical endothelin (ET). Since its detection in 1988, over 22,000 scholarly articles (about 3 per day) have been published on the subject, a new class of drugs has been developed, and 25 Phase I, II and III clinical trails are now underway. As the scientific and medical communities involved in ET move towards 25 years of understanding the protein, which future developments hold potential? At what risk? Do medicinal compounds look promising?
Donald Kohan, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Utah Sciences Center and a leading global expert on endothelins is addressing these and other issues at the 11th International Conference on Endothelin being held September 9-12, 2009 in Montreal, CN. Dr. Kohan's invited presentation, "Clinical Relevance of ET Antagonist: An Update," is part of the program being sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-aps.org). A copy of the complete program is at http://the-aps.org/meetings/aps/ET11Montreal/index.htm.
What is Endothelin?
Identified in 1988, ET is produced by most tissues in the body. The protein is highly concentrated in the brain, lungs, kidney, heart, blood vessels and even in some cancer cells. ET is also the most potent vasoconstrictor (causing the blood vessels to constrict) known. It plays a major role in embryonic development and disease.
ET binds to two different types of receptors: endothelin A (ETR-A) and endothelin B (ETR-B). When ET connects with its receptors they react in different ways and have different impacts on disease.
The activated ETR-A receptor sends a signal to the blood vessels to contract, which then increases blood pressure. Conversely, when the ET
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American Physiological Society