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J Hum Hypertens. 1999 Jan;13 Suppl 1:S43-7; discussion S49-50.

Role of tissue angiotensin II in myocardial remodelling induced by mechanical stress.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Japan.


In an in vivo study, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) were treated with an angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1 receptor antagonist of candesartan or hydralazine. Untreated SHR progressively developed severe hypertension, and treatment with candesartan or hydralazine decreased blood pressure. Candesartan reduced left ventricular (LV) weight, LV wall thickness, transverse myocyte diameter, the relative amount of V3 myosin heavy chain, and interstitial fibrosis, while treatment with hydralazine slightly prevented an increase in LV wall thickness, but did not exert a significant reduction on other parameters. In an in vitro study, neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were cultured on deformable silicone dishes. Stretching cardiomyocytes activated second messengers such as protein kinase C, Raf-1 kinase, and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, increasing protein synthesis, enhancing endothelin (ET)-1 release, activating the Na+/H+ ion exchanger. Moreover, pretreatment with candesartan diminished an increase in phenylalanine incorporation, MAP kinase activity, and c-fos gene expression induced by the stretching of cardiomyocytes. This suggests that the cardiac renin-angiotensin system is linked to the formation of pressure-overload hypertrophy and that Ang II increases the growth of cardiomyocytes by an autocrine mechanism. Finally, we examined the signalling pathways leading to MAP kinase activation both in cardiac myocytes and in cardiac fibroblasts. Ang II-evoked signal transduction pathways differed between cell types. In cardiac fibroblasts, Ang II activated MAP kinase through a pathway including the Gbetagamma subunit of Gi protein, Src, Shc, Grb2, and Ras, while Gq and protein kinase C were important in cardiac myocytes.

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