Endothelins (ET), which come in three related varieties, ET1 ET2 and ET3, are vasoactive peptides produced mainly by endothelial cells; they can also be produced by astrocytes. All three types of endothelins can be released during brain insults, either from damaged endothelium or from astroglia. Functional endothelin receptors of ETB type have been shown in cultured microglial cells, where they control InsP3-induced Ca2+ release from the ER. Astrocytes express ETA and ETB receptors; activation of astroglial receptors decreases expression of gap junctions and therefore inhibits coupling in the astroglial networks.
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