Expression of Cell Cycle Proteins P21waf1/Cip1, P27kip1, Cyclin D1 and CDK4 in Blood Vessels of Angiotensin II-Infused Rats. Role of AT1 Receptors.
Angiotensin II (Ang II) is an important modulator of cell growth via AT1 receptors, as demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro. Here, we investigated the role of different proteins involved in the cell cycle, including cyclin D1, cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (cdk4) and cdk inhibitors p21 and p27 in blood vessels of Ang II-infused rats and the effect therein of the AT1 receptor antagonist losartan. Male Sprague Dawley rats were infused for 7 days with Ang II (120 ng/kg/min s.c.) and/or treated with losartan (10 mg/kg/day orally). DNA synthesis in mesenteric arteries was evaluated by radiolabeled 3H-thymidine incorporation. The expression of p21, p27, cyclin D1, cdk4 and E2F, which play critical roles during G1-phase of the cell cycle process, was examined by Western blot analysis. Tail cuff systolic blood pressure (mmHg) was elevated (p<0.05, n=9) in Ang II-infused rats (161.3±8.2) vs. controls (110.1±5.3) and normalized by losartan (104.4±3.2). Radiolabeled 3H-thymidine incorporation (cpm/100 μg DNA) showed that Ang II-infusion significantly increased DNA synthesis (152±5 vs. 102±6, p<0.05). Expression of p21 and p27was significantly decreased in the Ang II group to 23.2±10.4% and 10.3±5.3% of controls, respectively, whereas expression of cyclin D1 and cdk4 was significantly increased in the Ang II group to 213.7±8% and 263.6±37% of controls, respectively. These effects induced by Ang II infusion was normalized in the presence of losartan. Ang II had no effect on the expression of E2F. Thus, when AT1 receptors are stimulated in vivo, DNA synthesis is enhanced in blood vessels by activation of cyclin D1 and cdk4. Reduction in cell cycle kinase inhibitors p21 and p27 may contribute to activation of growth induced by in vivo AT1 receptor stimulation.