A vasoactive peptide, endothelin-3, is produced by and specifically binds to primary astrocytes.
Primary rat astrocytes were found by immunohistochemistry to display positive staining for endothelin-3, located predominantly in the perinuclear area. The ability of these cells to produce and release endothelin-3 was confirmed by a combination of reverse-phase HPLC and radioimmunoassay, specific for endothelin-3, which demonstrated immunoreactive peptide in cellular extracts and astrocyte-conditioned medium. In addition, astrocytes were shown to possess a single class of binding sites for endothelin with comparable high affinity for endothelin-1, -2 and -3. These results suggest that astrocytes, by virtue of their ability to produce and secrete endothelin-3, serve as a potential extravascular source of intracerebral vasoregulation capable of influencing regional cerebral blood flow.
Ehrenreich, H; Kehrl, JH; Anderson, RW; Rieckmann, P; Vitkovic, L; Coligan, JE; Fauci, AS
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