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Circulation. 2000 Jun 13;101(23):2678-81.

Regulation of angiotensin II receptor subtypes during atrial fibrillation in humans.

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University Hospital Magdeburg, Division of Cardiology, Germany.



Previous studies have suggested that atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with the activation of the atrial angiotensin system. However, it is not known whether the expression of angiotensin II receptors changes during AF. The purpose of this study was to determine the atrial expression of angiotensin II type 1 and type 2 receptors (AT(1)-R and AT(2)-R) in patients with AF.


Atrial tissue samples from 30 patients undergoing open heart surgery were examined. Eleven patients had chronic persistent AF (> or =6 months; cAF), 8 patients had paroxysmal AF (pAF), and 11 patients were in sinus rhythm. AT(1)-R and AT(2)-R were localized in the atrial tissue by immunohistochemistry and quantified at the protein and mRNA level by Western blotting and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Both types of AT-R were predominantly expressed in atrial myocytes in all groups. The amount of AT(1)-R was reduced to 34.9% during cAF (P<0.01) and to 51.7% during pAF (P<0.05) compared with patients in sinus rhythm. In contrast, AT(2)-R was increased during cAF (246%; P=NS) and pAF (505%; P<0.01). AT(1)-R/AT(2)-R mRNA content was similar in all groups.


AF is associated with the down-regulation of atrial AT(1)-R and the up-regulation of AT(2)-R proteins. These findings may help define the pathophysiological role of the angiotensin system in the structural remodeling of the fibrillating atria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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