Direct Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor Stimulation in Nω-Nitro-l-Arginine-Methyl Ester–Induced Hypertension
The Effect on Pulse Wave Velocity and Aortic Remodeling
Pulse wave velocity (PWV), a direct marker of arterial stiffness, is an independent cardiovascular risk factor. Although the angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade belongs to major antihypertensive and cardioprotective therapies, less is known about the effects of long-term stimulation of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor. Previously, compound 21, a selective nonpeptide angiotensin II type 2 receptor agonist improved the outcome of myocardial infarction in rats along with anti-inflammatory properties. We investigated whether compound 21 alone or in combination with angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade by olmesartan medoxomil could prevent PWV increase and aortic remodeling in Nω-nitro-l-arginine-methyl ester (l-NAME)–induced hypertension. Male adult Wistar rats (n=65) were randomly assigned to control, l-NAME, l-NAME+compound-21, l-NAME+olmesartan, and l-NAME+olmesartan+compound-21 groups and treated for 6 weeks. We observed that l-NAME hypertension was accompanied by enhanced PWV, increased wall thickness, and stiffness of the aorta, along with elevated hydroxyproline concentration. Olmesartan completely prevented hypertension, PWV and wall thickness increase, and the increase of aortic stiffness and partly prevented hydroxyproline accumulation. Compound 21 partly prevented all of these alterations, yet without concomitant prevention of blood pressure rise. Although the combination therapy with olmesartan and compound 21 led to blood pressure levels, PWV, and wall thickness comparable to olmesartan-alone–treated rats, only in the combination group was complete prevention of increased hydroxyproline deposition achieved, resulting in even more pronounced stiffness reduction. We conclude that chronic angiotensin II type 2 receptor stimulation prevented aortic stiffening and collagen accumulation without preventing hypertension in rats with inhibited NO synthase. These effects were additive to angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockade, yet without additional blood pressure–lowering effect, and they seem to be NO and blood pressure independent.
- Received October 10, 2011.
- Revision received October 28, 2011.
- Accepted December 8, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.