Cardiac angiotensinogen and its local activation in the isolated perfused beating heart.
Increasing evidence suggests that the renin-angiotensin system modulates cardiovascular homeostasis both via its circulating, plasma-borne components and through locally present, tissue-resident systems with site-specific activity. The existence of such a system in the heart has been proposed, based on biochemical studies as well as on the demonstration of renin and angiotensinogen messenger RNA in cardiac tissue. We conducted the present study to determine whether biologically active angiotensin peptides may be cleaved within the heart from locally present angiotensinogen. Isolated, perfused rat hearts were exposed to infusions of purified hog renin; the coronary sinus effluent was collected and subsequently assayed for angiotensin I (Ang I) and angiotensin II (Ang II) by high-pressure liquid chromatography and specific radioimmunoassay. Both Ang I and II were undetectable under control conditions but appeared promptly after the addition of renin. Dose-dependent peak values for Ang I release ranged from 2.42 +/- 0.65 fmol/min to 1.38 +/- 0.18 pmol/min during renin infusions at concentrations between 10 microunits/ml and 5 milliunits/ml. Ang II levels measured in the perfusate reflected a mean fractional intracardiac conversion of Ang I to Ang II of 7.18 +/- 1.09%. Generation of Ang I and Ang II was inhibited in the presence of specific inhibitors of renin and converting enzyme, respectively. To investigate the source of angiotensinogen, we measured spontaneous angiotensinogen release from isolated perfused hearts. In the absence of renin in the perfusate, angiotensinogen was initially released in high, but rapidly declining, concentrations and subsequently at a low, but stable, rate. Prior perfusion with angiotensinogen-rich plasma resulted in enhanced early angiotensinogen release but did not alter the second, delayed phase, suggesting that, in addition to plasma-derived substrate, locally produced angiotensinogen may also participate in the intracardiac formation of angiotensin. Supporting this interpretation, hearts from animals pretreated with dexamethasone showed increased angiotensinogen messenger RNA concentrations as well as increased rates of angiotensinogen release not only during the early but also during the late phase. Our study newly demonstrates that Ang I and II may be formed within the isolated heart from locally present substrate, which appears to be derived in part from the circulating pool and in part from endogenous synthesis. These findings add support to the concept of a functionally active and locally integrated cardiac renin-angiotensin system and emphasize its potential physiological and pathological relevance.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association