The related inflammatory cytokines, interleukin- (IL-) 1β and IL-33, are both implicated in the response of the heart to injury. They also activate mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in cardiac myocytes. The hypertrophic Gq protein-coupled receptor agonist endothelin-1 is a potentially cardioprotective peptide and may modulate the inflammatory response. Endothelin-1 also stimulates (MAPKs) in cardiac myocytes and promotes rapid changes in expression of mRNAs encoding intercellular and intracellular signalling components including receptors for IL-33 (ST2) and phosphoprotein phosphatases. Prior exposure to endothelin-1 may specifically modulate the response to IL-33 and, more globally, influence MAPK activation by different stimuli. Neonatal rat ventricular myocytes were exposed to IL-1β or IL-33 with or without pre-exposure to endothelin-1 (5 h) and MAPK activation assessed. IL-33 activated ERK1/2, JNKs and p38-MAPK, but to a lesser degree than IL-1β. Endothelin-1 increased expression of soluble IL-33 receptors (sST2 receptors) which may prevent binding of IL-33 to the cell-surface receptors. However, pretreatment with endothelin-1 only inhibited activation of p38-MAPK by IL-33 with no significant influence on ERK1/2 and a small increase in activation of JNKs. Inhibition of p38-MAPK signalling following pretreatment with endothelin-1 was also detected with IL-1β, H2O2 or tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) indicating an effect intrinsic to the signalling pathway. Endothelin-1 pretreatment suppressed the increase in expression of IL-6 mRNA induced by IL-1β and decreased the duration of expression of TNFα mRNA. Coupled with the general decrease in p38-MAPK signalling, we conclude that endothelin-1 attenuates the cardiac myocyte inflammatory response, potentially to confer cardioprotection
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