In a recent issue of Clinical Science, Stanhewicz et al. investigated persistent microvascular dysfunction in women up to 16 months postpartum. The authors found sensitivity to the pressor effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) was enhanced when compared with women who had a normotensive pregnancy. Importantly, the authors demonstrated that this effect was mediated via the endothelin type B (ETB) receptors. Therefore, the present study highlights the possibility that alterations in the localization of the ETB receptor contributes to the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia and future cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Currently, there is great interest in the role of the endothelin system in pre-eclampsia. Targetting the endothelin system, potentially by modulating upstream pathways to prevent ETB receptor dysfunction, may improve health outcomes for women and their offspring during pre-eclampsia and later life.
- cardiovascular disease; endothelins; preeclampsia