Angiotensinogen: An Acute-Phase Protein?

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Angiotensinogen has been assumed to be an acutephase protein, because some forms of acute inflammation, eg, the injection of lipopolysaccharide or cellite or partial hepatectomy, increased the hepatic synthesis of angiotensinogen. In addition, the well-characterized nephrectomy-induced stimulation of angiotensinogen was thought to represent an acute-phase reaction. To evaluate this hypothesis, we examined changes in angiotensinogen secretion by the isolated perfused rat liver after the systemic administration of turpentine or lipopotysaccharide as well as in response to nephrectomy or sham nephrectomy. Comparison was made with the secretion of two typical acutephase proteins, α1-acid gh/coprotein and α2-macroglobulin, and with the secretion of the negative acute-phase protein albumin. All forms of experimental surgery stimulated the secretion of both control acute-phase proteins several-fold. In contrast, the response of angiotensinogen was not uniform; lipopolysaccharide and bilateral nephrectomy stimulated secretion twofold to threefold, sham nephrectomy had no effect, and turpentine decreased the secretion to 30% of the control level. A similar inhomogeneity was found in an additional experiment performed to analyze the direct effects of interleukin-1 or interleukin-6 on the secretion of angiotensinogen by freshly isolated hepatocytes. Interleukin-6 increased but interleukin-1 decreased the mRNA and secretion of angiotensinogen, whereas both cytokines increased the secretion of both acute-phase proteins. Because of this nonuniform behavior of angiotensinogen, it is premature to classify angiotensinogen as an acute-phase protein until a specific function for angiotensinogen during acute inflammation is known.

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