Peripheral vascular disease can compromise the blood supply to the lower limb with amputation being necessary in severe cases. Reduced blood flow may be due to arterial occlusive disease or constriction of skeletal microvessels with the resultant ischaemia causing pain, tissue damage, ulceration and gangrene. These events are associated with endothelial damage or dysfunction: endothelin-1 is implicated as a mediator via its constrictor, proinflammatory and proliferative actions. Raised plasma and tissue levels of this peptide have been described in various ischaemic conditions, including peripheral vascular disease. Here, the possible role of endothelin-1 in peripheral vascular disease is discussed and potential therapeutic tools are considered.
Keywords: endothelin, receptors, ischaemia, reperfusion, vascular disease, pathology
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