Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor Expression After Vascular Injury Differing Effects of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibition and Angiotensin Receptor Blockade

Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.
Hypertension (Impact Factor: 6.48). 12/2006; 48(5):942-9. DOI: 10.1161/01.HYP.0000241061.51003.b7
Source: PubMed


It has been suggested that the effects of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockers are in part because of angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) signaling. Interactions between the AT2R and kinins modulate cardiovascular function. Because AT2R expression increases after vascular injury, we hypothesized that the effects on vascular remodeling of the AT1R blocker valsartan and the ACE inhibitor benazepril require AT2R signaling through the bradykinin 1 and 2 receptors (B1R and B2R). To test this hypothesis, Brown Norway rats were assigned to 8 treatments (n=16): valsartan, valsartan+PD123319 (AT2R inhibitor), valsartan+des-arg9-[Leu8]-bradykinin (B1R inhibitor), valsartan+HOE140 (B2R inhibitor), benazepril, benazepril+HOE140, amlodipine, and vehicle. After 1 week of treatment, carotid balloon injury was performed. Two weeks later, carotids were harvested for morphometry and analysis of receptor expression by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Valsartan and benazepril significantly reduced the intima:media ratio compared with vehicle. Blockade of AT2R, B1R, or B2R in the presence of valsartan prevented the reduction seen with valsartan alone. B2R blockade inhibited the effect of benazepril. Injury increased AT1R, AT2R, B1R, and B2R expression. Treatment with valsartan but not benazepril significantly increased intima AT2R expression 2-fold compared with vehicle, which was not reversed by inhibition of AT2R, B1R, and B2R. Functionally, valsartan increased intimal cGMP levels compared with vehicle, and this increase was inhibited by blocking the AT2R, B1R, and B2R. Results suggest that AT2R expression and increased cGMP represent a molecular mechanism that differentiates AT1R blockers, such as valsartan, from angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors like benazepril.

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    • "AT2R expression declines rapidly after birth in humans, but is present in the vascular endothelium and other organs such as the ovary and uterus in adult humans.47 Its role in healthy individuals is debated, but there is evidence of up-regulation of AT2R expression during cardiovascular damage, such as in common carotid balloon injury,48 hypertension,49 myocardial infarction, and heart failure,50,51 where it mediates essentially opposing effects to the AT1R. This hypothesis is supported by our studies. "
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