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Toxicol Lett. 2013 Jun 20;220(1):70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Arsenic upregulates the expression of angiotensin II Type I receptor in mouse aortic endothelial cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Nagakute, Aichi, Japan.


Although chronic arsenic exposure is a well-known risk for cardiovascular disease and has a strong correlation with hypertension, the molecular pathogenesis underlying arsenic exposure-induced hypertension remains poorly understood. To delineate the pathogenesis, we examined changes in the mRNA levels of 2 angiotensin II Type I receptor (AT1R) subtypes, AT1AR and AT1BR, in a mouse aortic endothelial cell line, END-D. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed significant increases in the mRNA levels of 2 AT1R subtypes, AT1AR and AT1BR following sodium arsenite (SA) treatment. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that SA increases the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, western blot analysis revealed that SA enhances the phosphorylations of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and activated protein 1 (AP-1). These phosphorylations were inhibited by N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an anti-oxidant. Finally, SA-induced AT1R expression was found to be prevented both by NAC and specific JNK inhibitor, SP6001325, strongly indicating that AT1R upregulation is a result of the ROS-mediated activation of the JNK signaling pathway. Taken together, our results indicate that arsenic indeed upregulates the AT1R expression, thus highlighting a role of arsenic-induced aberrant AT1R signaling in the pathogenesis of hypertension.

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