Angiotensin II type 2 receptor mediates vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis and antagonizes angiotensin II type 1 receptor action: an in vitro gene transfer study.
Angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor is expressed abundantly in the fetal vasculature with rapid decline after birth and re-expressed in the adult vasculature after injury, whereas angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor is expressed. We studied their effects on apoptosis in cultured rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC). Serum starvation induced VSMC DNA fragmentation and the stimulation of AT1 receptor inhibited this apoptotic change. We transfected rat AT2 receptor cDNA, since cultured adult VSMCs show very low level of endogenous AT2 receptor. In AT2 receptor transfected VSMC, selective stimulation of AT2 receptor facilitated serum-deprivation-induced apoptosis and AT1 receptor stimulation inhibited it. Moreover we observed that AT1 receptor stimulation activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), whereas the AT2 receptor stimulation inhibited the activation of ERK. Taken together, our results suggest that AT1 and AT2 receptors exert counteracting effects on ERK activation and consequently VSMC apoptosis and differential expression of these receptors may participate in vascular development and vascular remodeling.
Yamada, T; Akishita, M; Pollman, MJ; Gibbons, GH; Dzau, VJ; Horiuchi, M
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