Production of Angiotensin II by Homogeneous Cultures of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells From Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

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Abstract

Production of angiotensin II (Ang II) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR)-derived vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) has now been investigated. A nonpeptide antagonist (CV-11974) of Ang II type 1 receptors inhibited basal DNA synthesis in VSMC from SHR, but it had no effect on cells from Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Ang II-like immunoreactivity, determined by radioimmunoassay after HPLC, was readily detected in conditioned medium and extracts of SHR-derived VSMC, whereas it was virtually undetectable in VSMC from WKY rats. Isoproterenol increased the amount of Ang II-like immunoreactivity in conditioned medium and extracts of SHR-derived VSMC, whereas the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor delapril significantly reduced the amount of Ang II-like immunoreactivity in conditioned medium and extracts of these cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the abundance of mRNAs encoding angiotensinogen, cathepsin D, and angiotensin-converting enzyme was greater in VSMC from SHR than in cells from WKY rats. The abundance of cathepsin D protein by Western blotting was greater in VSMC from SHR than in cells from WKY rats. Ang I-generating and acid protease activities were detected in VSMC from SHR, but not in cells from WKY rats. These results suggest that SHR-derived VSMC generate Ang II with increases in angiotensinogen, cathepsin D, and angiotensin-converting enzyme, which contribute to the basal growth. Production of Ang II by homogeneous cultures of VSMC is considered as a new mechanism of hypertensive vascular disease. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999;19:1210-1217.)

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