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Circulation. 1997 Mar 4;95(5):1201-6.

AT1 and AT2 angiotensin receptor gene expression in human heart failure.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford (Calif) University, USA.



The availability of selective antagonists for angiotensin II receptors has focused interest on the gene expression of angiotensin II-receptor subtypes in the human heart.


We analyzed expression of the AT1 and AT2 subtypes of the angiotensin II receptor in ventricular myocardium taken from 9 donor hearts before implantation and from 12 patients with heart failure (6 with dilated cardiomyopathy and 6 with ischemic heart disease). Competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction with synthetic RNA internal standards was used to detect mRNA for both subtypes and to quantify relative differences in levels between failing and non-failing ventricular myocardium. AT1- and AT2-receptor mRNA could be detected in all samples. AT1-receptor gene expression was 2.5-fold greater in nonfailing hearts than in patients with failing hearts (P = .015). There was no significant difference in AT2-receptor mRNA expression in failing and nonfailing hearts.


The level of expression of the angiotensin AT1 receptor appears to decrease in the failing human ventricle whereas the level of AT2 expression is unaffected. These changes parallel the changes found in human ventricular myocardium at the receptor level, suggesting that the changes in receptor level may result from changes in gene expression or mRNA stability.

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