TGF-beta1 and angiotensin networking in cardiac remodeling

Stephan Rosenkranz
Cardiovascular Research 2004 August 15, 63 (3): 423-32
The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) play a pivotal role in the development of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Recent studies indicate that angiotensin II (Ang II) and TGF-beta1 do not act independently from one another but rather act as part of a signalling network in order to promote cardiac remodeling, which is a key determinant of clinical outcome in heart disease. This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding, how Ang II and TGF-beta1 are connected in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. Increasing evidence suggests that at least some of the Ang II-induced effects on cardiac structure are mediated via indirect actions. Ang II upregulates TGF-beta1 expression via activation of the angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor in cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts, and induction of this cytokine is absolutely required for Ang II-induced cardiac hypertrophy in vivo. TGF-beta induces the proliferation of cardiac fibroblasts and their phenotypic conversion to myofibroblasts, the deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen, fibronectin, and proteoglycans, and hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes, and thereby mediates Ang II-induced structural remodeling of the ventricular wall in an auto-/paracrine manner. Downstream mediators of cardiac Ang II/TGF-beta1 networking include Smad proteins, TGFbeta-activated kinase-1 (TAK1), and induction of hypertrophic responsiveness to beta-adrenergic stimulation in cardiac myocytes.

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