1. The effect of endothelin (ET)-1 on Ca2+ efflux from cultured bovine adrenal chromaffin cells was examined. ET-1 (10-7 M) significantly increased intracellular free Ca2+ level ([Ca2+](i)), 45Ca2+ uptake and catecholamine secretion in the cells. 2. ET-1 stimulated the efflux of 45Ca2+ from the cells preloaded with 45Ca2+ in a concentration-dependent manner (10-9-10-7 M). This stimulatory effect was inhibited by ET(B) receptor antagonist BQ788, but not by ET(A) receptor antagonist BQ123. Selective ET(B) receptor agonists Suc-[Glu9 Ala11,15]-ET-1 and sarafotoxin S6c (SRTX) also stimulated 45Ca2+ efflux from the cells. 3. ET-1, Suc-[Glu9, Ala11,15]-ET-1 and SRTX increased the level of cyclic GMP in the adrenal chromaffin cells. ET-1 induced an increase in the nitric oxide (NO) level in the cells. The stimulatory effects by which ET-1 increases NO level and 45Ca2+ efflux were inhibited by N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine acetate (L-NMMA), a competitive inhibitor of NO synthase. 4. The 45Ca2+ efflux stimulated by ET-1 was inhibited by deprivation of extracellular Na+, but not by deprivation of Ca2+. 5. These results suggest that ET-1 stimulates an extracellular Na+-dependent Ca2+ efflux through the activation of NO synthase in cultured bovine adrenal chromaffin cells.
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