Hypoxia-Inducible Factor (HIF)-1α and Endothelin-1 Expression in the Rat Carotid Body during Intermittent Hypoxia



Physiological responses to hypoxia involve changes in gene expression that are mediated by the transcriptional activator HIF-1. HIF-1 is a heterodimeric transcription factor consisting of two subunits, HIF-1α and HIF-1β (Semenza, 2000; Wang et al., 1995). The expression of HIF-1α protein is closely regulated by oxygen tension in the cell, whereas HIF-1β expression is constitutive and independent of oxygen levels (Kallio et al., 1999; Semenza, 2000; Wang et al., 1995). It has been shown that HIF-1α plays a physiological role in chronic hypoxia (CH). HIF-1α serves as a key controller for the transcriptional regulation of the expression of a spectrum of oxygen-regulated genes, such as erythropoietin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptors, for the cellular response to hypoxia in tissues including the carotid body (CB) (Fung, 2003; Glaus et al., 2004; Semenza, 2000; Tipoe and Fung, 2003).


Tyrosine Hydroxylase Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Carotid Body Intermittent Hypoxia Chronic Hypoxia 
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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
    • 2
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Departments of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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