Lanza, V., Fadda, P., Iannone, C. and Negri, R. Low-Dose Ionizing Radiation Stimulates Transcription and Production of Endothelin by Human Vein Endothelial Cells. Radiat. Res. 168, 193–198 (2007).
A transient increase of EDN1 mRNA accumulation is observed in human vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) after a low dose of ionizing radiation. The kinetics of this mRNA accumulation parallels that of other AP1-regulated transcripts, showing a sharp peak 2 h after irradiation. This accumulation is followed by a net increase of endothelin 1 and big endothelin 1 in the cytoplasm that reaches a peak 4 h after irradiation. We followed the kinetics of endothelin 1 secretion in cell culture medium and did not find a detectable increase in the rate of secretion by the irradiated cells compared to sham-irradiated cells. We conclude that in HUVEC monolayers, an increase in endothelin production does not automatically correspond to an increase in secretion. These findings suggest that endothelin is an important component in the response of endothelial cells to ionizing radiation and that it could be used as a biomarker for low-dose irradiation of endothelial tissues.