Angiotensin-(1–7) Selectively Induces Relaxation and Modulates Endothelium-Dependent Dilation in Mesenteric Arteries of Salt-Fed Rats

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This study investigated the acute effects of angiotensin-(1–7) and AVE0991 on active tone and vasodilator responses to bradykinin and acetylcholine in isolated mesenteric arteries from Sprague-Dawley rats fed a high-salt (HS; 4% NaCl) versus a normal salt (NS; 0.4% NaCl) diet. Angiotensin-(1–7) and AVE0991 elicited relaxation, and angiotensin-(1–7) unmasked vasodilator responses to bradykinin in arteries from HS-fed rats. These effects of angiotensin-(1–7) and AVE0991 were inhibited by endothelium removal, A779, PD123319, HOE140 and L-NAME. Angiotensin-(1–7) also restored the acetylcholine-induced relaxation that was suppressed by the HS diet. Vasodilator responses to bradykinin and acetylcholine in the presence of angiotensin-(1–7) were mimicked by captopril and the AT2 receptor agonist CGP42112 in arteries from HS-fed rats. Thus, in contrast to salt-induced impairment of vascular relaxation in response to vasodilator stimuli, angiotensin-(1–7) induces endothelium-dependent and NO-mediated relaxation, unmasks bradykinin responses via activation of mas and AT2 receptors, and restores acetylcholine-induced vasodilation in HS-fed rats. AT2 receptor activation and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition shared the ability of angiotensin-(1–7) to enhance bradykinin and acetylcholine responses in HS-fed rats. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential for mas and/or AT2 receptor activation and ACE inhibition in restoring endothelial function impaired by elevated dietary salt intake or other pathological conditions.

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