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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 23;8(7):e70195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070195. Print 2013.

Deficiency of Smad7 enhances cardiac remodeling induced by angiotensin II infusion in a mouse model of hypertension.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Smad7 has been shown to negatively regulate fibrosis and inflammation, but its role in angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertensive cardiac remodeling remains unknown. Therefore, the present study investigated the role of Smad7 in hypertensive cardiopathy induced by angiotensin II infusion. Hypertensive cardiac disease was induced in Smad7 gene knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice by subcutaneous infusion of Ang II (1.46 mg/kg/day) for 28 days. Although equal levels of high blood pressure were developed in both Smad7 KO and WT mice, Smad7 KO mice developed more severe cardiac injury as demonstrated by impairing cardiac function including a significant increase in left ventricular (LV) mass (P<0.01),reduction of LV ejection fraction(P<0.001) and fractional shortening(P<0.001). Real-time PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry detected that deletion of Smad7 significantly enhanced Ang II-induced cardiac fibrosis and inflammation, including upregulation of collagen I, α-SMA, interleukin-1β, TNF-α, and infiltration of CD3(+) T cells and F4/80(+) macrophages. Further studies revealed that enhanced activation of the Sp1-TGFβ/Smad3-NF-κB pathways and downregulation of miR-29 were mechanisms though which deletion of Smad7 promoted Ang II-mediated cardiac remodeling. In conclusions, Smad7 plays a protective role in AngII-mediated cardiac remodeling via mechanisms involving the Sp1-TGF-β/Smad3-NF.κB-miR-29 regulatory network.

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