Molecular characterization of angiotensin II--induced hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes and hyperplasia of cardiac fibroblasts. Critical role of the AT1 receptor subtype.
Increasing evidence suggests that angiotensin II (Ang II) may act as a growth factor for the heart. However, direct effects of Ang II on mammalian cardiac cells (myocytes and nonmyocytes), independent of secondary hemodynamic and neurohumoral effects, have not been well characterized. Therefore, we analyzed the molecular phenotype of cultured cardiac cells from neonatal rats in response to Ang II. In addition, we examined the effects of selective Ang II receptor subtype antagonists in mediating the biological effects of Ang II. In myocyte culture, Ang II caused an increase in protein synthesis without changing the rate of DNA synthesis. In contrast, Ang II induced increases in protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, and cell number in nonmyocyte cultures (mostly cardiac fibroblasts). The Ang II-induced hypertrophic response of myocytes and mitogenic response of fibroblasts were mediated primarily by the AT1 receptor. Ang II caused a rapid induction of many immediate-early genes (c-fos, c-jun, jun B, Egr-1, and c-myc) in myocyte and nonmyocyte cultures. Ang II induced "late" markers for cardiac hypertrophy, skeletal alpha-actin and atrial natriuretic factor expression, within 6 hours in myocytes. Ang II also caused upregulation of the angiotensinogen gene and transforming growth factor-beta 1 gene within 6 hours. Induction of immediate-early genes, late genes, and growth factor genes by Ang II was fully blocked by an AT1 receptor antagonist but not by an AT2 receptor antagonist. These results indicate that: (1) Ang II causes hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes and mitogenesis of cardiac fibroblasts, (2) the phenotypic changes of cardiac cells in response to Ang II in vitro closely mimic those of growth factor response in vitro and of load-induced hypertrophy in vivo, (3) all biological effects of Ang II examined here are mediated primarily by the AT1 receptor subtype, and (4) Ang II may initiate a positive-feedback regulation of cardiac hypertrophic response by inducing the angiotensinogen gene and transforming growth factor-beta 1 gene.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association