Hypertensive Rats Produced by In Vivo Introduction of the Human Renin Gene

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We established an efficient and nontoxic in vivo gene transfer method mediated by the Sendai virus (hemagglutinating virus of Japan [HVJ]), liposomes, and nuclear protein. In this study, to produce a hypertensive model rat that is dependent on human renin, the human renin gene was introduced into adult rat liver by our efficient in vivo gene transfer method using HVJ and liposomes (HVJ-liposomes). The rats treated with HVJ-liposomes containing the human renin gene showed a significant elevation of blood pressure for 6 days compared with control rats, which received injections of HVJ-liposomes without the human renin gene. On day 5 after the transfer, human active renin as well as angiotensin II were found in the plasma of rats in which the human renin gene was introduced. Moreover, the blood pressure of these rats was significantly correlated with the plasma levels of human active renin and angiotensin II. To confirm that the elevated blood pressure was due to the expression of the human renin gene, we administered a newly developed specific human renin inhibitor, FK 906. The elevated blood pressure was normalized by the intravenous administration of this drug. These data indicate that this hypertensive rat was produced by the in vivo transfer of the human renin gene into rat liver and that the expressed human renin cleaved rat substrate (angiotensinogen). This hypertensive rat produced by in vivo gene transfer should be useful in further studies on hypertension.

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