Roles of AT1 and AT2 receptors in the hypertensive Ren-2 gene transgenic rat kidney.Hypertension. 1999 Jan; 33(1 Pt 2):347-53.H
Adult Ren-2 gene transgenic rats, TGR(mRen-2)27, exhibit elevated circulating and kidney angiotensin II (Ang II) levels in the presence of severe hypertension. The aim of this study was to examine whether AT1 and AT2 receptors in the kidney and renal hemodynamic and tubular responses to blockade of these receptors were altered in the Ren-2 gene transgenic rats during the maintenance phase of hypertension. Renal AT1 and AT2 receptors were mapped by in vitro autoradiography (n=8), and the effects of blockade of these receptors on mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and renal cortical (CBF) and medullary blood flows (MBF) were studied in anaesthetized, adult age-matched male homozygous TGR rats (n=12) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (n=7). TGR rats showed higher basal MAP (P<0.001), heart and kidney weight (P<0.001), plasma renin activity (P<0.05) and plasma Ang II level (P<0.05), and CBF (P<0.05) and MBF (P<0.05) than SD rats. AT1 receptor binding was significantly increased in the glomeruli, proximal tubules, and the inner stripe of the outer medulla of TGR rats (P<0.01), while the AT2 receptor binding was low at all renal sites of TGR and SD rats. Immunohistochemistry revealed that this increased AT1 receptor labeling occurred mainly in vascular smooth muscle layer of intrarenal blood vessels including afferent and efferent arterioles, juxtaglomerular apparatus, glomerular mesangial cells, proximal tubular cells, and renomedullary interstitial cells (RMICs) in the transgenic rats. Blockade of AT1 receptors with losartan in TGR rats markedly reduced MAP to the normotensive level (P<0.001) without altering HR. Both CBF (P<0.005) and MBF (P<0.05) were significantly increased by losartan in the transgenic rats. By contrast, losartan only caused a smaller decrease in MAP and an increase in renal CBF in SD rats (P<0.05). PD 123319 was without any renal effect in both SD and TGR rats. These findings suggest that markedly increased AT1 receptors in renal vasculature, glomerular mesangial cells, and RMICs in the presence of fulminant hypertension and elevated circulating and tissue Ang II levels may play an important role in the maintenance of hypertension in the Ren-2 gene transgenic rats.