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Hypertension. 2007 Oct;50(4):792-8. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Rho kinase activation and gene expression related to vascular remodeling in normotensive rats with high angiotensin I converting enzyme levels.

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1
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Medical School, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

The RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway is a new mechanism of remodeling and vasoconstriction. Few data are available regarding ROCK activation when angiotensin I-converting enzyme is high and blood pressure is normal. We hypothesized that ROCK is activated in the vascular wall in normotensive rats with genetically high angiotensin I-converting enzyme levels, and it causes increased vascular expression of genes promoting vascular remodeling and also oxidative stress. Aortic ROCK activation, mRNA and protein levels (of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, transforming growth factor [TGF]-beta(1), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 [PAI-1]), NADPH oxidase activity, and O(2)(*-) production were measured in normotensive rats with genetically high (Brown Norway [BN]) and low (Lewis) angiotensin-I-converting enzyme levels and in BN rats treated with the ROCK antagonist fasudil (100 mg/kg per day) for 7 days. ROCK activation was 12-fold higher in BN versus Lewis rats (P<0.05) and was reduced with fasudil by 100% (P<0.05). Aortic TGF-beta1, PAI-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA levels were higher in BN versus Lewis rats by 300%, 180%, and 1000%, respectively (P<0.05). Aortic TGF-beta1, PAI-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 protein levels were higher in BN versus Lewis rats (P<0,05). Fasudil reduced TGF-beta1 and PAI-1 mRNA and TGF-beta1, PAI-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 protein aortic levels to those observed in Lewis rats. Aortic reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase activity and (*)O(2)(-) production were increased by 88% and 300%, respectively, in BN rats (P<0.05) and normalized by fasudil. In conclusion, ROCK is significantly activated in the aortic wall in normotensive rats with genetically high angiotensin-I-converting enzyme and angiotensin II, and it causes activation of genes that promote vascular remodeling and also increases vascular oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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