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Cardiac tissue remodeling and renin-angiotensin system in hypertrophic heart

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In the hearts of spontaneously hypertensive rats, mRNA of the renin-angiotensin system (renin, angiotensinogen, and angiotensin converting enzyme) was expressed. Level of angiotensinogen and renin mRNA expressed in ventricles, and angiotensinogen mRNA expressed in fibroblasts from SHR were higher than those from WKY. ACE mRNA was also more strongly expressed in the ventricles and fibroblasts from SHR compared with those of WKY.

We investigated the effects of angiotensin II on cardiac collagen synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts of 10-week-old spontaneously hypertensive rats and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats. Basal collagen synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts from spontaneously hypertensive rats was 1.6-fold greater than that in the cell of Wistar-Kyoto rats. Angiotensin II stimulated collagen synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts in a dose-dependent manner. The responsiveness of collagen production to angiotensin II was significantly enhanced in cardiac fibroblasts from spontaneously hypertensive rats (100 nM angiotensin II resulted in 185 ± 18% increase above basal levels, 185 ± 18 versus 128 ± 19% in Wistar-Kyoto rats, p < 0.01). This effect was receptor-specific, because the competitive inhibitor saralasin and MK 954 blocked it. These results indicate that collagen production was enhanced in cardiac fibroblasts from spontaneously hypertensive rats, that angiotensin II had a stimulatory effect on collagen synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts, and that cardiac fibroblasts from spontaneously hypertensive rats were hyperresponsive to stimulation by angiotensin II.

These findings suggest that the cardiac renin-angiotensin system may play an important role in collagen accumulation in hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy.


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