Angiotensin type 2 receptor is expressed in murine atherosclerotic lesions and modulates lesion evolution.
BACKGROUND: In the vasculature, the angiotensin type 2 (AT2) receptor (AT2R) exerts antiproliferative, antifibrotic, and proapoptotic effects. Normal adult animals have low AT2R expression; however, vascular injury and exposure to proinflammatory cytokines augment AT2R levels. We hypothesized that AT2R expression increases during initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Atherosclerotic lesions of apolipoprotein (Apo) E(-/-) mice contained AT2Rs, measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and confirmed by immunohistochemistry. To test the consequences of this expression, male ApoE(-/-), angiotensin II type 2 receptor-deficient (Agtr2-), and ApoE(-/-), wild-type (Agtr2+) mice consumed a high-cholesterol diet from 4 weeks of age. Ten weeks later, overall area and cellular composition of aortic arch lesions did not differ significantly among genotypes. After 16 weeks, ApoE(-/-)/Agtr2+, but not ApoE(-/-)/Agtr2- mice had dramatic decreases in percent positive area of macrophages, smooth muscles, lipids, and collagen. Diminished bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and increased TUNEL staining accompanied these decreases. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, loss of AT2R during the evolution of atherosclerotic lesions augmented the extent of cellularity of atherosclerotic lesions, establishing AT2R as a modulator of atherogenesis.
Sales, VL; Sukhova, GK; Lopez-Ilasaca, MA; Libby, P; Dzau, VJ; Pratt, RE
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