Faculty Articles

Angiotensin II Regulation of Angiotensin-Converting Enzymes in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Primary Astrocyte Cultures

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Journal of Neurochemistry





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Blackwell Science


Angiotensin (Ang) II plays a critical role in cardiovascular and blood pressure regulation. Ang II is produced by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and it interacts with the Ang AT1 receptor to cause much of its well-known cardiovascular effects. Ang-(1-7) is another active peptide produced by the rennin-angiotensin system. This peptide is produced from Ang I or Ang II by the catalytic activity of ACE2. Ang-(1-7) interacts with the Mas receptor to counteract many of the effects of Ang II. Thus, the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis acts opposite of the ACE/Ang II/AT1 axis. In this study we investigated how Ang II regulates the key enzymes of these axes, ACE and its homolog ACE2, and determined whether they are dysregulated in the hypertensive condition. Brainstem and cerebellum astrocytes isolated from the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) were used in these studies. Ang II effect on the enzymes' mRNA and protein levels was measured using quantitative PCR and western blotting techniques, respectively. Results from this study showed that Ang II up-regulated ACE protein levels, but down-regulated ACE mRNA levels in brainstem and cerebellum astrocytes in both models. Ang II also reduced ACE2 mRNA expression in SHR and Wistar astrocytes isolated from both brain regions. Ang II effects on ACE2 protein were biphasic. In SHR astrocytes, Ang II-mediated ACE2 protein initially increased then decreased at later time points. In contrast, in Wistar astrocytes, Ang II initially decreased ACE2 protein expression, but up-regulated the protein at later time points. The findings of these studies suggest that Ang II has a differential effect on ACE and ACE2 expression. Furthermore, in the SHR model there may be alteration in the ACE/ACE2 balance in a manner that favors increased Ang II generation and decreased Ang-(1-7) production contributing to the hypertensive phenotype observed in this model. The levels of angiotensin (Ang) II depend on the actions of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2. We showed in astrocytes isolated from the SHRs that Ang II differentially affects ACE and ACE2 expression. There may be an alteration in the ACE/ACE2 balance favoring Ang II generation. This imbalance may contribute to the hypertensive phenotype observed in this SHR model.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


angiotensin II, animals, anti-arrhythmia agents, astrocytes, brain, cells, cultured, dose-response relationship, drug, embryo, enzyme inhibitors, enzymologic, female, gene expression regulation, inbred SHR, losartan, mammalian, messenger, peptidyl-dipeptidase a, pregnancy, rats, RNA, time factors, Wistar

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