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Hypertension. 2008 Mar;51(3):704-11. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.107.098459. Epub 2008 Jan 14.

Angiotensin II-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation is mediated by protein kinase Cdelta and intracellular calcium in adult rat cardiac fibroblasts.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, OH 44272-0095, USA.


Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced proliferation of cardiac fibroblasts is a major contributing factor to the pathogenesis of cardiac fibrosis. Ang II activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 to induce cardiac fibroblast proliferation, but the signaling pathways leading to ERK 1/2 activation have not been elucidated in these cells. The goal of the current study was to identify the intracellular mediators of Ang II-induced ERK 1/2 activation in adult rat cardiac fibroblasts. We determined that 100 nmol/L of Ang II-induced ERK 1/2 phosphorylation is inhibited by simultaneous chelation of cytosolic calcium and downregulation of protein kinase C (PKC) by phorbol ester or by the specific PKCdelta inhibitor rottlerin, as well as PKCdelta small interfering RNA, but not by inhibition of 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetate, phorbol ester, rottlerin, or PKCdelta small interfering RNA alone. We also found that Ang II does not transactivate the epidermal growth factor receptor in adult cardiac fibroblasts, because pretreatment with 1 mumol/L of AG 1478 did not significantly inhibit [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation or ERK 1/2 activation. In addition, immunoprecipitation of the epidermal growth factor receptor demonstrated no significant Ang II-induced phosphorylation of tyrosine residues. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase, PKCzeta, and src tyrosine kinase had no effect on Ang II-induced ERK 1/2 activation. Collectively, these data demonstrate that Ang II does not transactivate the epidermal growth factor receptor in adult rat cardiac fibroblasts to activate ERK 1/2, a common pathway described in vascular smooth muscle and other cell types, but rather occurs via activation of distinct parallel signaling pathways mechanistically controlled by intracellular Ca(2+) and PKCdelta.

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