J Pers Med. 2020 Oct 28;10(4):E199. doi: 10.3390/jpm10040199.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities. The racial and ethnic disparities in AD could be explained by differences in cerebral vascular disease pathology. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictive peptide that regulates smooth muscle, endothelial cell, and pericyte contractions that may result in cerebral vascular constriction, leading to cerebral hypoperfusion; over time, ET-1 may result in neuronal injury contributing to the pathology of AD. Upregulation of the ET-1 system has been observed in African Americans when compared with non-Hispanic Whites. The role of the ET-1 system as a driver of ethnic disparities in AD requires further investigation. Targeting of the ET-1 system as a therapeutic intervention that could impact AD progression also needs further study. Dysregulation of ET-1 in Hispanic/Latino populations largely have been unexplored. Genetics linking ET-1 dysregulation and racial disparities in AD also needs further investigation. In this review, I examine how AD effects underserved minority populations and how dysregulation of the ET-1 system specifically predisposes ethnic minorities to AD. In addition, I examine the molecular interactions of the ET-1 system and amyloid beta, the role the ET-1 system in neurodegeneration, potential therapeutics for ET-1 dysregulation, and the impact on AD progression.