Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is the most potent among all vasoconstrictors, and its association with cardiovascular diseases has been reported before. Our aim was to investigate the association of ET-1 plasma level and its gene polymorphisms (rs5370 and rs10478694) with hypertension and coronary atherosclerosis (CA).

Material and methods:
This study was carried out on 128 women and 132 men, who were divided into 4 groups: hypertensive without atherosclerosis (H+A–); hypertensive with atherosclerosis (H+A+); non-hypertensive with atherosclerosis (H–A+); and non-hypertensive without atherosclerosis (control group). Endothelin-1 plasma levels were measured by ELISA, and gene polymorphisms were detected by polymerase chain reaction – restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) methods. Coronary artery diseases (CAD) were then defined based on angiography data.

The ET-1 plasma level was significantly higher in the H+A+ group in comparison with the other groups, especially H+A–. Comparing people with CA and those without it, the highest frequency level of the T allele of rs5370 was found in people with CA. Significantly higher frequencies of the 3A allele were detected in hypertensive patients in comparison with non-hypertensive individuals, when analyzing rs10478694.

Endothelin-1 plasma level shows a direct association with the risk of CA development. The T allele of rs5370 can be regarded as a risk factor for CA development. The 3A allele of rs10478694 can be associated with the risk of hypertension; therefore, it can be concluded that ET-1 and its gene polymorphisms play an important role in CA development and hypertension observed in the south-eastern populations of Iran.