Hepatic and Plasma Endothelin-1 in Dogs with Chronic Hepatitis.

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Endothelin (ET)-1 is a 21-amino-acid peptide with potent vasoactive properties, which increases intrahepatic resistance in patients with chronic hepatitis (CH) or cirrhosis. ET-1 concentrations have not been investigated in dogs with CH.


This study compared hepatic and plasma ET-1 levels in healthy dogs and in dogs with CH, and examined the relationship between the plasma ET-1 level and portal vein pressure in dogs with CH.


Fourteen healthy dogs and twenty dogs with CH were used in this study.


Prospective case-control study. Hepatic ET-1 mRNA expression was determined by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and hepatic and plasma ET-1 levels were assessed using ELISA. Splenic pulp pressure (SPP), as an indicator of portal vein pressure, was measured laparoscopically.


Hepatic ET-1 mRNA levels were 3.7 times higher in dogs with CH than in healthy dogs (P = .008). The median hepatic and plasma ET-1 protein levels were significantly higher in dogs with CH than in healthy dogs (13.20 pg/mg wet liver vs. 3.42 pg/mg wet liver, P = .004, and 0.99 pg/mL vs. 0.71 pg/mL, P = .013, respectively). Moreover, there was a weak but significant correlation between plasma ET-1 level and SPP in dogs with CH (P = .036; rs = 0.53).


The results indicate that ET-1 might play an important role in the pathogenesis of portal hypertension caused by CH.

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