It is well known that endothelin (ET)-1 mediates vascular remodelling in various kinds of clinical and experimental pulmonary hypertension. The aim of this study was to investigate whether ET-1 is associated with the development of pulmonary vascular remodelling in a canine model of chronic embolic pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension was induced in 10 mongrel dogs by repeated embolization with ceramic beads. In five of the dogs, bosentan, a nonselective ET receptor antagonist, was administered throughout the study. Haemodynamic measurements and plasma ET-1 assays were performed every 2 months. Eight months after initial embolization, computer-assisted morphometry and immunohistochemistry were performed on the lung tissue including that from three control dogs. Pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance were increased in all embolized dogs, compared to baseline. In nontreated embolized dogs, plasma ET-1 concentration and pulmonary arterial wall thickness were increased compared to control animals, and ET-1 immunoreactivity was detected in thickened pulmonary arteries. In bosentan treated dogs, pulmonary arterial walls were not significantly thickened. Pulmonary vascular remodelling, associated with elevated plasma endothelin-1 levels and positive endothelin-1 immunoreactivity in lung tissue is attenuated by the endothelin receptor antagonist, bosentan. These findings suggest that endothelin mediates pulmonary vascular remodelling in a canine model of chronic embolic pulmonary hypertension.