Hypertension induces alternatively spliced forms of fibronectin in rat aorta.
Fibronectin expression was shown recently to increase in the rat aorta in response to experimental hypertension. Fibronectin is known to alter the phenotype of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and relative changes in the expression of different isoforms of fibronectin, generated by alternative splicing and distinguished by the absence or presence of inserts designated as EIIIA, EIIIB, and V, may reflect a change in cell phenotype. In the present study we examined the expression of alternatively spliced forms of aortic fibronectin during deoxycorticosterone-salt hypertension. Aortic RNA was analyzed quantitatively using Northern blot analysis and ribonuclease protection assays. Using Northern blot analysis, deoxycorticosterone-salt treatment for 21 days led to a 4.9-fold increase in EIIIA fibronectin messenger RNA, while EIIIB and V forms increased by 2.6- and 2.5-fold, respectively. As determined by ribonuclease protection assays, the percentage of fibronectin transcripts containing either EIIIA, EIIIB, or V in control aorta was 7.3%, 19%, and 40%, respectively. The percentage of EIIIA transcripts increased 42% over control levels after 21 days of deoxycorticosterone-salt treatment, whereas no proportionate change in the other alternatively spliced forms was found. Thus, all forms increased, but a selective increase in the EIIIA form was induced. Analogous increases in each of the fibronectin isoforms were found in the spontaneously hypertensive rats when compared with age-matched Wistar-Kyoto or Wistar rats, and 40-week-old animals showed increases over 10-week-old animals in all strains, consistent with an age-dependent increase in aortic fibronectin expression.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association