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Nat Med. 2001 Sep;7(9):1003-9.

Increased AT(1) receptor heterodimers in preeclampsia mediate enhanced angiotensin II responsiveness.

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Medical Research Center, Ain Champs University Hospital, Cairo, Egypt.


Several examples of functional G-protein-coupled receptor heterodimers have been identified. However, it is not known whether receptor heterodimerization is involved in the pathogenesis of human disorders. Here we show that in preeclamptic hypertensive women, a significant increase in heterodimerization occurs between the AT(1)-receptor for the vasopressor angiotensin II and the B(2)-receptor for the vasodepressor bradykinin. AT(1)-B(2)-receptor heterodimerization in preeclampsia correlated with a 4-5-fold increase in B(2)-receptor protein levels. Expression of the AT(1)-B(2) heterodimer increased the responsiveness to angiotensin II and conferred resistance in AT(1)-receptors to inactivation by reactive oxygen species raised in normotensive and preeclamptic pregnancies. We suggest that AT(1)-B(2) heterodimers contribute to angiotensin II hypersensitivity in preeclampsia. Moreover, we identify preeclampsia as the first disorder associated with altered G-protein-coupled receptor heterodimerization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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