Angiotensin-(1-7)-induced Mas receptor activation attenuates atherosclerosis through a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism in apolipoproteinE-KO mice

Guang Yang, Geoffrey Istas, Sascha Höges, Mina Yakoub, Ulrike Hendgen-Cotta, Tienush Rassaf, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, Lydia Hering, Maria Grandoch, Evanthia Mergia, Lars Christian Rump, Johannes Stegbauer

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Angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7) ameliorates vascular injury by increasing nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. Evidence that Ang-(1-7) attenuates the development of atherosclerosis through a NO-dependent mechanism is still missing. Moreover, it has been postulated that Ang-(1-7) may mediate its effects by other mechanisms than Mas receptor activation. To investigate Ang-(1-7)-dependent Mas receptor function, we treated apoE-KO and apoE/Mas-KO mice chronically with Ang-(1-7) (82 μg/kg per hour) or saline for 6 weeks. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD), a measure for NO-dependent vasodilation and the most accepted prognostic marker for the development of atherosclerosis, was measured in vivo. Chronic Ang-(1-7) treatment improved FMD and attenuated the development of atherosclerosis in apolipoproteinE (apoE)-KO but not in apoE/Mas-KO mice. These effects were accompanied by increased aortic nitrite and cGMP levels. To test whether Ang-(1-7) modulates atherosclerosis through a NO-dependent mechanism, apoE-KO mice were treated with the NO synthase inhibitor L-NAME (20 mg/kg/day) in the presence or absence of Ang-(1-7). L-NAME treatment reduced aortic nitrite content and increased blood pressure and exaggerated atherosclerosis compared to untreated apoE-KO mice. In L-NAME-treated apoE-KO mice, chronic Ang-(1-7) treatment did not increase aortic nitrite content and consequently showed no effect on blood pressure and the development of atherosclerosis. The present study proves that Ang-(1-7) mediates its protective vascular effects through Mas receptor activation. Moreover, Ang-(1-7)-mediated NO generation is essential for improving vascular function and prevents atherosclerosis in apoE-KO mice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPfl�s Archiv / European Journal of Physiology
Early online date20 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2018


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