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International Journal of Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 217-231

Alteration of Endothelins: A Common Pathogenetic Mechanism in Chronic Diabetic Complications

1Department of Pathology, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario, London, Canada
2Department of Pathology, The University of Western Ontario, Dental Sciences Building, Room 4011, ON, London N6A 5C1, Canada

Received 20 January 2002; Accepted 4 June 2002

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Endothelin (ET) peptides perform several physiological, vascular, and nonvascular functions and are widely distributed in a number of tissues. They are altered in several disease processes including diabetes. Alteration of ETs have been demonstrated in organs of chronic diabetic complications in both experimental and clinical studies. The majority of the effects of ET alteration in diabetes are due to altered vascular function. Furthermore, ET antagonists have been shown to prevent structural and functional changes induced by diabetes in animal models. This review discusses the contribution of ETs in the pathogenesis and the potential role of ET antagonism in the treatment of chronic diabetic complications.