Flow-Dependent Dilation Mediated by Endogenous Kinins Requires Angiotensin AT2 Receptors

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The vascular kallikrein-kinin system contributes to about one third of flow-dependent dilation in mice carotid arteries, by activating bradykinin B2 receptors coupled to endothelial nitric oxide (NO) release. Because the bradykinin/NO pathway may mediate some of the effects of angiotensin II AT2 receptors, we examined the possible contribution of AT2 receptors to the kinin-dependent response to flow. Changes in outer diameter after increases in flow rate were evaluated in perfused arteries from wild-type animals (TK+/+) and in tissue kallikrein-deficient mice (TK−/−) in which the presence of AT2 receptor expression was verified. Saralasin, a nonselective angiotensin II receptor antagonist, impaired significantly flow-induced dilation in TK+/+, whereas it had no effect in TK−/− mice. In both groups, blockade of AT1 receptors with losartan or candesartan did not affect the response to flow. Inhibition of AT2 receptors with PD123319 reduced significantly flow-induced dilation in TK+/+ mice, but had no significant effect in TK−/− mice. Combining PD123319 with the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist HOE-140 had no additional effect to AT2 receptor blockade alone in TK+/+ arteries. Flow-dependent-dilation was also impaired in AT2 receptor deficient mice (AT2−/−) when compared with wild-type littermates. Furthermore, HOE-140 significantly reduced the response to flow in the AT2+/+, but not in AT2−/− mice. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the presence of functional AT2 receptors is necessary to observe the contribution of the vascular kinin-kallikrein system to flow-dependent dilation.

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