Abstract 477: Diverse Actions of the EP4 Prostaglandin E2 Receptor in Blood Pressure Control

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Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a major prostanoid produced by the kidney having the potential to influence renal blood flow, Na excretion, and thus mean arterial pressure (BP). PGE2 actions are mediated by four distinct E-prostanoid (EP) receptor isoforms: EP1-EP4. The EP4 receptor (EP4R) triggers macula densa stimulation of renin, induces vasodilation, and may inhibit epithelial sodium transport. Thus, the impact of EP4Rs on BP may differ with the sites of PGE2 synthesis and pattern of EP4R activation within the kidney. To examine the role of EP4R on BP regulation we generated EP4R-deficient mice. Because deletion of EP4R in utero causes peri-natal mortality due to persistent patent ductus arteriosus, we carried out conditional deletion by crossing EP4flox/flox with a transgenic line with tamoxifen-inducible Cre expression in all tissues. Resting mean arterial pressure (MAP) measured by radiotelemetry was increased by 5±1mm Hg (p<0.05) in mice with total-body EP4R-deficiency (EP4R-TBKO) vs. controls. In addition, EP4R-TBKOs had an exaggerated increase in MAP with high-salt (6% NaCl) feeding (MAP increase: 5±1 vs. 2±1mmHg for controls; p<0.05) and during angiotensin II (Ang II)-dependent hypertension (MAP increase: 37±2 vs. 24±3mmHg for controls; p<0.05). We next hypothesized that exaggerated hypertension in the EP4R-TBKOs was due to elimination of compensatory EP4R-depedent vasodilation mediated by direct actions in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Accordingly, we generated mice lacking EP4R in VSMCs (EP4R-SMKOs) using EP4flox/flox and transgenic mice with tamoxifen-inducible expression of Cre limited to smooth muscle cells. In contrast to the EP4R-TBKOs, elimination of EP4R only from VSMC reduced resting MAP by 5±1mm Hg (p<0.04) but did not affect the BP response to high salt feeding (MAP change: 2±1 vs. 2±1 mm Hg; ns) or chronic Ang II infusion (MAP increase: 29±3 vs. 34±4 mm Hg; ns). Thus, the EP4R modulates resting MAP but its specific impact may vary between EP4R populations in different cell lineages. EP4Rs resist the development of salt- and Ang II-dependent hypertension. These anti-hypertensive actions are not mediated by direct effects of EP4R in VSMCs, but may involve EP4R in endothelium, brain, or kidney epithelia.

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