The ACE-2/Ang1-7/Mas cascade enhances bone structure and metabolism following angiotensin-II type 1 receptor blockade

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Abstract

The renin angiotensin system (RAS) regulates numerous systemic functions and is expressed locally in skeletal tissues. Angiotensin1-7 (Ang1-7) is a beneficial member of the RAS, and the therapeutic effects of a large number of angiotensin receptors blockers (ARBs) are mediated by an Ang1-7-dependent cascade. This study examines whether the reported osteo-preservative effects of losartan are mediated through the angiotensin converting enzyme2 (ACE-2)/Ang1-7/Mas pathway in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Sham and OVX animals received losartan (10 mg/kg/d p.o.) for 6 weeks. A specific Mas receptor blocker (A-779) was delivered via mini-osmotic pumps during the losartan treatment period. Serum and urine bone metabolism biomarker levels were measured. Bone trabecular and cortical morphometry were quantified in distal femurs, whereas mineral contents were estimated in ashed bones, serum and urine. Finally, the expression of RAS components, the receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) was determined. Losartan significantly improved the elevated bone metabolism marker levels and altered trabecular and cortical structures in OVX animals, and restored normal urinary and skeletal mineral levels. Mas receptor inhibition significantly abolished all osteo-protective effects of losartan and enhanced the deleterious effects of OVX. Losartan enhanced OVX-induced up-regulation of ACE-1, AngII, angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor and RANKL expression, and increased ACE-2, Ang1-7, Mas and OPG expression in OVX animals. However, A-779 significantly eradicated the effects of losartan on RAS components and RANKL/OPG expression. Thus, Ang1-7 are involved in the osteo-preservative effects of losartan via Mas receptor, which may add therapeutic value to this well-known antihypertensive agent.

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