The vasoactive peptide endothelin is shown to be a potent mitogen for Swiss 3T3 cells. Although endothelin has little effect on DNA synthesis when added alone to cells in serum-free medium, the peptide synergizes very strongly with several other growth factors. A half-maximal response to endothelin is observed at approx. 0.3 nM, with a maximal effect at 3 nM. Over the same concentration range, endothelin stimulates a 2-fold increase in the accumulation of cellular inositol phosphates. Endothelin may prove to be a useful additional agonist for studying the signalling pathways involved in the control of 3T3-cell proliferation.

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