Perinatally administered losartan augments renal ACE2 expression but not cardiac or renal Mas receptor in spontaneously hypertensive rats.J Cell Mol Med. 2015 Aug; 19(8):1965-74.JC
Since the identification of the alternative angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas receptor axis, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is a new complex target for a pharmacological intervention. We investigated the expression of RAS components in the heart and kidney during the development of hypertension and its perinatal treatment with losartan in young spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Expressions of RAS genes were studied by the RT-PCR in the left ventricle and kidney of rats: normotensive Wistar, untreated SHR, SHR treated with losartan since perinatal period until week 9 of age (20 mg/kg/day) and SHR treated with losartan only until week 4 of age and discontinued until week 9. In the hypertrophied left ventricle of SHR, cardiac expressions of Ace and Mas were decreased while those of AT1 receptor (Agtr1a) and Ace2 were unchanged. Continuous losartan administration reduced LV weight (0.43 ± 0.02; P < 0.05 versus SHR) but did not influence altered cardiac RAS expression. Increased blood pressure in SHR (149 ± 2 in SHR versus 109 ± 2 mmHg in Wistar; P < 0.05) was associated with a lower renal expressions of renin, Agtr1a and Mas and with an increase in ACE2. Continuous losartan administration lowered blood pressure to control levels (105 ± 3 mmHg; P < 0.05 versus SHR), however, only renal renin and ACE2 were significantly up-regulated (for both P < 0.05 versus SHR). Conclusively, prevention of hypertension and LV hypertrophy development by losartan was unrelated to cardiac or renal expression of Mas. Increased renal Ace2, and its further increase by losartan suggests the influence of locally generated Ang-(1-7) in organ response to the developing hypertension in SHRs.