Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Differential regulation of angiotensin-(1-12) in plasma and cardiac tissue in response to bilateral nephrectomy

Carlos M. Ferrario, Jasmina Varagic, Javad Habibi, Sayaka Nagata, Johji Kato, Mark C. Chappell, Aaron J. Trask, Kazuo Kitamura, Adam Whaley-Connell, James R. Sowers


We examined the effects of 48 h bilateral nephrectomy on plasma and cardiac tissue expression of angiotensin-(1-12) [ANG-(1-12)], ANG I, and ANG II in adult Wistar-Kyoto rats to evaluate functional changes induced by removing renal renin. The goal was to expand the evidence of ANG-(1-12) being an alternate renin-independent, angiotensin-forming substrate. Nephrectomy yielded divergent effects on circulating and cardiac angiotensins. Significant decreases in plasma ANG-(1-12), ANG I, and ANG II levels postnephrectomy accompanied increases in cardiac ANG-(1-12), ANG I, and ANG II concentrations compared with controls. Plasma ANG-(1-12) decreased 34% following nephrectomy, which accompanied 78 and 66% decreases in plasma ANG I and ANG II, respectively (P < 0.05 vs. controls). Contrastingly, cardiac ANG-(1-12) in anephric rats averaged 276 ± 24 fmol/mg compared with 144 ± 20 fmol/mg in controls (P < 0.005). Cardiac ANG I and ANG II values were 300 ± 15 and 62 ± 7 fmol/mg, respectively, in anephric rats compared with 172 ± 8 fmol/mg for ANG I and 42 ± 4 fmol/mg for ANG II in controls (P < 0.001). Quantitative immunofluorescence revealed significant increases in average grayscale density for cardiac tissue angiotensinogen, ANG I, ANG II, and AT1 receptors of WKY rats postnephrectomy. Faint staining of cardiac renin, unchanged by nephrectomy, was associated with an 80% decrease in cardiac renin mRNA. These changes were accompanied by significant increases in p47phox, Rac1, and Nox4 isoform expression. In conclusion, ANG-(1-12) may be a functional precursor for angiotensin peptide formation in the absence of circulating renin.

  • renin
  • angiotensinogen
  • angiotensin II
  • blood pressure


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