Induction of cardiac fibrosis by angiotensin II

P J Lijnen, V V Petrov, R H Fagard
Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 2000, 22 (10): 709-23
The possible contributions of the angiotensin receptor subtypes 1 (AT1) and 2 (AT2) to angiotensin II-induced changes in collagen secretion and production were studied using the specific angiotensin receptor AT1 and AT2 antagonists telmisartan and P-186. The role of the renin-angiotensin system and its interaction with transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) in collagen deposition in cardiac fibroblasts in relation to the development of myocardial fibrosis is also discussed. Cardiac fibroblasts (from normal male adult rats) from passage 2 were cultured to confluency and incubated in the presence of angiotensin II (ANG II) in a concentration range of 10(-10)-10(-6) M in serum-free Dulbecco's MEM medium for 24 h. Collagen production and secretion were assayed by [3H]-proline incorporation and noncollagen production and secretion were also analyzed. ANG II dose-dependently increased collagen secretion and production in rat adult cardiac fibroblasts in culture. Noncollagen secretion and production were also concentration-dependently increased by ANG II. Addition of 100 nmol/l ANG II increased (p < 0.01) collagen secretion and production by 75 +/- 6 (SEM) and 113 +/- 23%, respectively, and noncollagen secretion and production by 65 +/- 6 and 57 +/- 16%, respectively. Pretreatment of cardiac fibroblasts with telmisartan completely blocked the ANG II-induced increase in collagen secretion (p < 0.001) and production (p < 0.05) and in noncollagen secretion (p < 0.01) and production (p < 0.01). P-186 had no effect on the ANG II-induced increase in collagen secretion and production. Addition of telmisartan and P-186 did not affect collagen secretion and production in basal cardiac fibroblasts. TGF-beta 1 also concentration- and time-dependently increased the secretion and production of collagen in cardiac fibroblasts. Our data demonstrate that the effects of ANG II on collagen secretion and production in adult rat cardiac fibroblasts in culture are AT1-receptor mediated since they were abolished by the specific AT1-receptor antagonist telmisartan but not by the specific AT2-receptor antagonist P-186. The ability of ANG II to induce collagen synthesis in cardiac fibroblasts may be mediated by increased TGF-beta 1 production.

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