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Cancer Res. 2005 Sep 1;65(17):7660-5.

Angiotensin II type 2 receptor gene deficiency attenuates susceptibility to tobacco-specific nitrosamine-induced lung tumorigenesis: involvement of transforming growth factor-beta-dependent cell growth attenuation.

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Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


To clarify an involvement of angiotensin II signaling in lung neoplasia, we have examined the effect of angiotensin II receptor deficiency on 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)-induced lung tumorigenesis. Male angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2)-null mice with an SWR/J genetic background and control wild-type mice were treated with NNK (100 mg/kg, i.p.) or saline vehicle. NNK treatment caused the development of lung tumors in all wild-type control mice (100 % tumor prevalence), but only 85% of AT2-null mice developed tumors. The tumor multiplicity in AT2-null mice (1.9 +/- 0.3) was significantly smaller than that in wild-type mice (4.1 +/- 0.9). Primary cultured lung fibroblasts prepared from both AT2-null and wild-type mice markedly increased the colony counts of A549 lung cancer cells in soft agar, but a consistently higher colony count was observed with the wild-type fibroblasts (fold increase in colony number, 5.6 +/- 0.5) than with the AT2-null fibroblasts (3.5 +/- 0.8). The underlying mechanism by which angiotensin II regulates cancer cell growth is due to the regulation of active transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) production. Although the total level of TGF-beta was significantly stimulated when A549 cells were cocultured with either type of fibroblasts, the level of active TGF-beta in the conditioned medium was consistently higher with AT2-null fibroblasts than with wild-type fibroblasts. These results imply that the AT2 receptor negatively regulates the level of active TGF-beta and thus increases NNK-induced lung tumorigenesis. The AT2 receptor function in lung stromal fibroblasts may be a potential modulator of tumor susceptibility in chemical carcinogen-induced lung tumorigenesis.

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