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J Am Soc Hypertens. 2013 Jul-Aug;7(4):259-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 Apr 20.

ACE2 deficiency induced perivascular fibrosis and cardiac hypertrophy during postnatal development in mice.

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Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology and Pharmacology, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Tohon, Japan.


In order to investigate the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in cardiac development, we examined the effects of ACE2 deficiency on postnatal development of the heart using ACE2-knockout (ACE2KO) mice. Heart samples of wild type (WT; C57BL/6J) mice and ACE2KO mice were taken at 1, 4, and 10 weeks of age. In WT mice, expression of ACE2 mRNA increased from 1 week to 10 weeks. A similar increase was observed in immunostaining of ACE2 in the heart, in which ACE2 was strongly expressed in coronary arteries. Compared with WT mice, heart weight was greater in ACE2KO mice at 4 weeks, and coronary artery thickening and perivascular fibrosis were also already enhanced from 4 weeks. Consistent with the increase of fibrosis, cardiac expression of collagen and TIMP was higher, and expression of MMP was lower in ACE2KO mice at 4 weeks. In addition, TGF-╬▓ mRNA was also higher, and lower expression of PPAR╬│ mRNA was observed at 4 weeks in ACE2KO mice. These results suggest that ACE2 plays an important role in postnatal development of the heart, and that lack of ACE2 enhances coronary artery remodeling with an increase in perivascular fibrosis and cardiac hypertrophy already around the weaning period.


ACE2; cardiac hypertrophy; development; fibrosis

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