Faculty Articles


Angiotensin III Induces JAK2/STAT3 Leading to IL-6 Production in Rat Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

Publication Title

International Journal of Molecular Science





Publication Date / Copyright Date


DOI Number



The Janus kinase-2/ signal transducer and activators of transcription-3 (JAK2/STAT3) pathway and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are pleiotropic signal transduction systems that are responsible for induction of many cytokines and growth factors. It is unknown whether the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) peptide, angiotensin (Ang) III induces JAK2/STAT3 and IL-6 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether Ang III induces the JAK2/STAT3 pathway leading to IL-6 production in cultured VSMCs isolated from Wistar rats and determine whether differences exist in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) VSMCs. We gauged Ang III's effects on this pathway by measuring its action on STAT3 as well as IL-6 production. Ang III behaved similarly as Ang II in stimulation of STAT3 phosphorylation in Wistar and SHR VSMCs. Moreover, there were no differences in this Ang III effect in SHR versus Wistar VSMCs. In Wistar VSMCs, Ang II and Ang III significantly induced IL-6 protein secretion and mRNA expression. However, IL-6 protein secretions mediated by these peptides were significantly greater in SHR VSMCs. Ang III induced the JAK2/STAT3 pathway, leading to IL-6 protein secretion and IL-6 mRNA expression via actions on AT1Rs. Moreover, the actions of Ang III to induce IL-6 production was dysregulated in SHR VSMCs. These findings suggest that Ang III acts on AT1Rs to induce JAK2/STAT3, leading to an increase in IL-6 in cultured VSMCs. These findings are important in establishing Ang III as an important physiologically relevant peptide in VSMCs.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


angiotensin III, AT1R, interleukin-6, Janus kinase-2/ signal transducer and activators of transcription-3, vascular smooth muscle cells