Abstract Endothelin (ET)-1 is a potent vasoconstrictive peptide and it is involved in the pathogenesis of septic shock. Blockade of ET-1 receptors abolishes the LPS-induced pulmonary hypertension and worsens the LPS-dependent systemic hypotension, but the role of ET-1 in sepsis remains uncertain. To determine the role of ET-1 in cardiovascular and respiratory derangement in a porcine model of endotoxemic shock we evaluated ET-1 plasma levels and ET-1 mRNA and protein levels in lung, liver, and heart as well as Endothelin Converting Enzyme-1, ET A and ET B receptors mRNA in the same tissues. Twelve piglets were randomised to sham operated or to LPS-treated (40 μg/kg/h for 4 h) groups. During the experiment, respiratory and circulatory parameters have been recorded and blood samples collected. At the end of the experiment the animals were sacrificed and tissue samples collected for real-time quantitative PCR and ELISA test. LPS infusion evokes a large increase in ET-1 plasma concentration, and in tissues mRNA levels, associated with an increase in pulmonary arterial pressure, as well as in pulmonary and systemic vascular resistances, and a decrease in stroke volume. LPS infusion caused also a derangement of respiratory mechanics, evidenced by an increase in resistance and a decrease in compliance of the respiratory system. ET A and ET B receptor mRNA levels were markedly decreased in liver and lung and slightly increased in heart, evidencing that ET receptor subtypes were differentially regulated in the major organs of endotoxin treated pigs. In conclusion our data show the presence of a continuative and differentially regulated stimulating mechanism of ET-1 expression during pig endotoxaemia as well as a fundamental role of ET-1 system in the cardiovascular and respiratory derangement.