Endothelial Mineralocorticoid Receptors Differentially Contribute to Coronary and Mesenteric Vascular Function Without Modulating Blood Pressure
Arteriolar vasoreactivity tightly regulates tissue-specific blood flow and contributes to systemic blood pressure (BP) but becomes dysfunctional in the setting of cardiovascular disease. The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) is known to regulate BP via the kidney and by vasoconstriction in smooth muscle cells. Although endothelial cells (EC) express MR, the contribution of EC-MR to BP and resistance vessel function remains unclear. To address this, we created a mouse with MR specifically deleted from EC (EC-MR knockout [EC-MR-KO]) but with intact leukocyte MR expression and normal renal MR function. Telemetric BP studies reveal no difference between male EC-MR-KO mice and MR-intact littermates in systolic, diastolic, circadian, or salt-sensitive BP or in the hypertensive responses to aldosterone±salt or angiotensin II±l-nitroarginine methyl ester. Vessel myography demonstrated normal vasorelaxation in mesenteric and coronary arterioles from EC-MR-KO mice. After exposure to angiotensin II–induced hypertension, impaired endothelial-dependent relaxation was prevented in EC-MR-KO mice in mesenteric vessels but not in coronary vessels. Mesenteric vessels from angiotensin II–exposed EC-MR-KO mice showed increased maximum responsiveness to acetylcholine when compared with MR-intact vessels, a difference that is lost with indomethacin+l-nitroarginine methyl ester pretreatment. These data support that EC-MR plays a role in regulating endothelial function in hypertension. Although there was no effect of EC-MR deletion on mesenteric vasoconstriction, coronary arterioles from EC-MR-KO mice showed decreased constriction to endothelin-1 and thromboxane agonist at baseline and also after exposure to hypertension. These data support that EC-MR participates in regulation of vasomotor function in a vascular bed–specific manner that is also modulated by risk factors, such as hypertension.
- Received July 18, 2015.
- Revision received August 8, 2015.
- Accepted August 17, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.