We studied the expression of parathyroid hormone (PTH)-related protein in vascular smooth muscle cells of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) using Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) and Sprague—Dawley rats as normotensive controls.Methods
Aortae from 4- and 18-week-old SHR versus age-matched WKY and Sprague—Dawley rats were excised to obtain total RNA or smooth muscle cells. The cells were subcultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's Medium containing 10% fetal calf serum, then serum-deprived for 72 h and stimulated with 0.1 μmol/l angiotensin II. PTH-related protein, c-myc and angiotensin II type 1a receptor (AT1aR) messenger (m)RNA levels were measured by Northern blot, using total RNA extracted by phenol/chloroform. The effects of PTH-related protein(1–34)NH2 intravenous injections on arterial blood pressure and the heart rate were studied in anesthetized SHR and WKY rats.Results
The Northern blots showed a significantly higher abundance of PTH-related protein mRNA in aortae of SHR versus WKY rats in the prehypertensive state but no significant difference in adult animals. In cultured aortic smooth muscle cells, angiotensin II induced a four- to sixfold increase in PTH-related protein mRNA levels in smooth muscle cells from normotensive animals, but failed to elicit a significant response in smooth muscle cells derived from SHR in either the prehypertensive or the hypertensive state. This lack of response to angiotensin II in SHR smooth muscle cells was not due to decreased expression or responsiveness of the AT1aR, since SHR smooth muscle cells had more AT1aR mRNA than Sprague—Dawley smooth muscle cells, and angiotensin II-induced activation of c-myc was faster and greater in smooth muscle cells derived from 4- or 18- week-old SHR than in Sprague—Dawley smooth muscle cells. In contrast, PTH-related protein(1–34)NH2 induced a long-lasting dose–dependent hypotensive and tachycardic response in both SHR and WKY rats, indicating that SHR retained responsiveness to the vasodilator.Conclusions
PTH-related protein gene expression in response to angiotensin II is impaired in SHR arteries. A deficiency in this potent local vasodilator may contribute to the development and/or maintenance of arterial hypertension in this model.