Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor Agonist Compound 21 Reduces Vascular Injury and Myocardial Fibrosis in Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
Angiotensin type 2 receptor–mediated effects of angiotensin II appear to counteract many of the effects mediated via the angiotensin type 1 receptor. Compound 21 (C21), a selective angiotensin type 2 receptor agonist, has demonstrated beneficial effects on cardiac function after myocardial infarction in rodents. We hypothesized that C21 alone or in combination with an angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonist would blunt the development of hypertension and vascular damage in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats. Six-week–old stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats received C21 (1 mg/kg per day), the angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonist losartan (10 mg/kg per day), C21 plus losartan, or vehicle PO for 6 weeks. Systolic blood pressure was lower in losartan and C21-losartan combination groups (P<0.001). Endothelium-dependent relaxation was enhanced (P<0.001) in the C21-losartan combination group at lower acetylcholine concentrations. C21 or C21-losartan combination reduced vascular stiffness, aortic medial and myocardial interstitial collagen content, and aortic fibronectin (P<0.05). C21 and losartan decreased the expression of 2 genes associated with cardiac hypertrophy, myosin heavy chain-β (myh7) by 30 to 50%, and α-skeletal muscle actin by 30% to 35% (P<0.05). C21-losartan combination caused an additional 40% reduction in myh7 compared with C21 (P<0.01). Aortic superoxide generation was reduced equally by the 3 treatments (P<0.001). Monocyte/macrophage infiltration in the aorta and kidney (P<0.001) and T-lymphocyte infiltration in the renal cortex (P<0.05) were lowered similarly by the 3 treatments. These data suggest that C21 alone or in combination with losartan may improve endothelial function and vascular composition and mechanics by reducing oxidative stress, collagen content, fibronectin, and inflammatory cell infiltration in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.
- Received July 25, 2011.
- Revision received August 18, 2011.
- Accepted November 18, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.