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J Clin Invest. Dec 1990; 86(6): 1913–1920.
PMCID: PMC329826

Increased rat cardiac angiotensin converting enzyme activity and mRNA expression in pressure overload left ventricular hypertrophy. Effects on coronary resistance, contractility, and relaxation.

Abstract

We compared the activity and physiologic effects of cardiac angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) using isovolumic hearts from male Wistar rats with left ventricular hypertrophy due to chronic experimental aortic stenosis and from control rats. In response to the infusion of 3.5 X 10(-8) M angiotensin I in the isolated buffer perfused beating hearts, the intracardiac fractional conversion to angiotensin II was higher in the hypertrophied hearts compared with the controls (17.3 +/- 4.1% vs 6.8 +/- 1.3%, P less than 0.01). ACE activity was also significantly increased in the free wall, septum, and apex of the hypertrophied left ventricle, whereas ACE activity from the nonhypertrophied right ventricle of the aortic stenosis rats was not different from that of the control rats. Northern blot analyses of poly(A)+ purified RNA demonstrated the expression of ACE mRNA, which was increased fourfold in left ventricular tissue obtained from the hearts with left ventricular hypertrophy compared with the controls. In both groups, the intracardiac conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II caused a comparable dose-dependent increase in coronary resistance. In the control hearts, angiotensin II activation had no significant effect on systolic or diastolic function; however, it was associated with a dose-dependent depression of left ventricular diastolic relaxation in the hypertrophied hearts. These novel observations suggest that cardiac ACE is induced in hearts with left ventricular hypertrophy, and that the resultant intracardiac activation of angiotensin II may have differential effects on myocardial relaxation in hypertrophied hearts relative to controls.

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