There are at least four known endothelin receptors, ETA, ETB1, ETB2 and ETC, all of which are G protein-coupled receptors whose activation result in elevation of intracellular-free calcium, which constricts the smooth muscles of the blood vessels, raising blood pressure, or relaxes the smooth muscles of the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure, among other functions.
Widely distributed in the body, receptors for endothelin are present in blood vessels and cells of the brain, choroid plexus and peripheral nerves. When applied directly to the brain of rats in picomolar quantities as an experimental model of stroke, endothelin-1 caused severe metabolic stimulation and seizures with substantial decreases in blood flow to the same brain regions, both effects mediated by calcium channels.
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