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Concept: Angiotensin

170

BACKGROUND: Laminin-alpha2-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A) is a severe muscle-wasting disease for which no curative treatment is available. Antagonists of the angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1), including the anti-hypertensive drug losartan, have been shown to block also the profibrotic action of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta and thereby ameliorate disease progression in mouse models of Marfan syndrome. Because fibrosis and failure of muscle regeneration are the main reasons for the severe disease course of MDC1A, we tested whether L-158809, an analog derivative of losartan, could ameliorate the dystrophy in dyW/dyW mice, the best-characterized model of MDC1A. METHODS: L-158809 was given in food to dyW/dyW mice at the age of 3 weeks, and the mice were analyzed at the age of 6 to 7 weeks. We examined the effect of L-158809 on muscle histology and on muscle regeneration after injury as well as the locomotor activity and muscle strength of the mice. RESULTS: We found that TGF-beta signaling in the muscles of the dyW/dyW mice was strongly increased, and that L-158809 treatment suppressed this signaling. Consequently, L-158809 reduced fibrosis and inflammation in skeletal muscle of dyW/dyW mice, and largely restored muscle regeneration after toxin-induced injury. Mice showed improvement in their locomotor activity and grip strength, and their body weight was significantly increased. CONCLUSION: These data provide evidence that AT1 antagonists ameliorate several hallmarks of MDC1A in dyW/dyW mice, the best-characterized mouse model for this disease. Because AT1 antagonists are well tolerated in humans and widely used in clinical practice, these results suggest that losartan may offer a potential future treatment of patients with MDC1A.

Concepts: Muscle, Muscular system, Angiotensin, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Mice, Muscle spindle, Angiotensin receptor, Angiotensin II receptor type 2

170

Chronic treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers is largely accepted for protecting cerebral circulation during hypertension, but beneficial effects of short-term treatments are questionable, as highlighted by the recent SCAST trial. We compared the impact of 10 days treatment with candesartan (as SCAST) versus telmisartan (previously described to reverse arteriolar remodeling, chronic treatment) on pial arterioles of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). We explored whether PPAR-gamma agonist activity or AT(1) receptor blockade are involved in their differential effects. In the first study, 4-month-old male SHR were treated with telmisartan (TELMI, 2 mg/kg per day) or candesartan cilexetil (CANDE, 10 mg/kg per day) and compared to vehicle treated SHR and normotensive WKY. In a second study, SHR were treated with CANDE, pioglitazone (a PPAR-gamma agonist, PIO 2.5 mg/kg per day) or CANDE+PIO, compared to TELMI. Internal diameter of pial arterioles (ID, cranial window) was measured at baseline, during hemorrhage-induced hypotension, or following suffusion of Ang II (10(-6) mol/L) or EDTA inactivation of smooth muscle cells (passive ID). PPAR-gamma and eNOS (target gene of PPAR-gamma) mRNA were evaluated in brain microvessels. For similar antihypertensive effects, TELMI (+44% versus SHR), but not CANDE, increased baseline ID. During hemorrhage, ID in TELMI group was similar to WKY, while ID in SHR and CANDE remained lower. In the second study, TELMI (+36%, versus SHR) and CANDE+PIO (+43%) increased baseline ID, but not CANDE or PIO alone. TELMI (-66%) and CANDE+PIO (-69%), but neither CANDE nor PIO alone, decreased Ang II-induced vasoconstriction. CANDE+PIO, but not CANDE, increased passive ID. In both studies, PPAR-gamma and eNOS expressions were higher in TELMI than CANDE. Short-term treatment with TELMI, but not with CANDE, reverses narrowing of pial arteriolar ID in SHR. This may involve PPAR-gamma related mechanisms, since CANDE+PIO treatment induced similar effects, and a better blockade of AT(1) receptors.

Concepts: Hypertension, Blood pressure, Smooth muscle, Angiotensin, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Angiotensin receptor, Candesartan, Angiotensin II receptor antagonists

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Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is a zinc-dependent peptidase responsible for converting angiotensin I into the vasoconstrictor angiotensin II. However, ACE is a relatively nonspecific peptidase that is capable of cleaving a wide range of substrates. Because of this, ACE and its peptide substrates and products affect many physiologic processes, including blood pressure control, hematopoiesis, reproduction, renal development, renal function, and the immune response. The defining feature of ACE is that it is composed of two homologous and independently catalytic domains, the result of an ancient gene duplication, and ACE-like genes are widely distributed in nature. The two ACE catalytic domains contribute to the wide substrate diversity of ACE and, by extension, the physiologic impact of the enzyme. Several studies suggest that the two catalytic domains have different biologic functions. Recently, the X-ray crystal structure of ACE has elucidated some of the structural differences between the two ACE domains. This is important now that ACE domain-specific inhibitors have been synthesized and characterized. Once widely available, these reagents will undoubtedly be powerful tools for probing the physiologic actions of each ACE domain. In turn, this knowledge should allow clinicians to envision new therapies for diseases not currently treated with ACE inhibitors.

Concepts: DNA, Evolution, Enzyme, Physiology, Blood pressure, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin-converting enzyme

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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the cardiovascular effects of the novel bradykinin B1 receptor antagonist BI-113823 following myocardial infarction (MI) and to determine whether B1 receptor blockade alters the cardiovascular effects of an angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist after MI in rats.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Receptor, Angiotensin, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, G protein coupled receptors, Angiotensin receptor, Bradykinin receptor B1, Angiotensin II receptor type 1

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Angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)] is a biologically active heptapeptide that may counterbalance the physiological actions of angiotensin II (Ang II) within the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Here, we evaluated whether activation of the Mas receptor with the oral agonist, AVE 0991, would have renoprotective effects in a model of adriamycin (ADR)-induced nephropathy. We also evaluated whether the Mas receptor contributed for the protective effects of treatment with AT1 receptor blockers. ADR (10 mg/kg) induced significant renal injury and dysfunction that was maximal at day 14 after injection. Treatment with the Mas receptor agonist AVE 0991 improved renal function parameters, reduced urinary protein loss and attenuated histological changes. Renoprotection was associated with reduction in urinary levels of TGF-β. Similar renoprotection was observed after treatment with the AT1 receptor antagonist, Losartan. AT1 and Mas receptor mRNA levels dropped after ADR administration and treatment with losartan reestablished the expression of Mas receptor and increased the expression of ACE2. ADR-induced nephropathy was similar in wild type (Mas(+/+) ) and Mas knockout (Mas (-/-)) mice, suggesting there was no endogenous role for Mas receptor activation. However, treatment with Losartan was able to reduce renal injury only in Mas(+/+) , but not in Mas (-/-) mice. Therefore, these findings suggest that exogenous activation of the Mas receptor protects from ADR-induced nephropathy and contributes to the beneficial effects of AT1 receptor blockade. Medications which target specifically the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas axis may offer new therapeutic opportunities to treat human nephropathies.

Concepts: Physiology, Receptor antagonist, Agonist, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Inverse agonist, Receptor theory, Angiotensin receptor

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Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) is a well-tolerated class of antihypertensive agents, exhibiting effective antihypertensive and cardiovascular protective function. The objective of the study was to examine the efficacy and safety of Allisartan Isoproxil, a newly developed, selective, nonpeptide blocker of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), in essential hypertensive patients at low-medium risk.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Blood pressure, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, Angiotensin receptor, Angiotensin II receptor type 2, Beta blocker

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Objective To examine long term cardiorenal outcomes associated with increased concentrations of creatinine after the start of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker treatment.Design Population based cohort study using electronic health records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Hospital Episode Statistics.Setting UK primary care, 1997-2014.Participants Patients starting treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (n=122 363).Main outcome measures Poisson regression was used to compare rates of end stage renal disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and death among patients with creatinine increases of 30% or more after starting treatment against those without such increases, and for each 10% increase in creatinine. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, calendar period, socioeconomic status, lifestyle factors, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular comorbidities, and use of other antihypertensive drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.Results Among the 2078 (1.7%) patients with creatinine increases of 30% or more, a higher proportion were female, were elderly, had cardiorenal comorbidity, and used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, loop diuretics, or potassium sparing diuretics. Creatinine increases of 30% or more were associated with an increased adjusted incidence rate ratio for all outcomes, compared with increases of less than 30%: 3.43 (95% confidence interval 2.40 to 4.91) for end stage renal disease, 1.46 (1.16 to 1.84) for myocardial infarction, 1.37 (1.14 to 1.65) for heart failure, and 1.84 (1.65 to 2.05) for death. The detailed categorisation of increases in creatinine concentrations (<10%, 10-19%, 20-29%, 30-39%, and ≥40%) showed a graduated relation for all outcomes (all P values for trends <0.001). Notably, creatinine increases of less than 30% were also associated with increased incidence rate ratios for all outcomes, including death (1.15 (1.09 to 1.22) for increases of 10-19% and 1.35 (1.23 to 1.49) for increases of 20-29%, using <10% as reference). Results were consistent across calendar periods, across subgroups of patients, and among continuing users.Conclusions Increases in creatinine after the start of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker treatment were associated with adverse cardiorenal outcomes in a graduated relation, even below the guideline recommended threshold of a 30% increase for stopping treatment.

Concepts: Kidney, Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Angiotensin II receptor antagonist, ACE inhibitor

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Activation of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS) stimulates energy expenditure through increasing of the resting metabolic rate (RMR), and this effect requires simultaneous suppression of the circulating and/or adipose RAS. To identify the mechanism by which the peripheral RAS opposes RMR control by the brain RAS, we examined mice with transgenic activation of the brain RAS (sRA mice). sRA mice exhibit increased RMR through increased energy flux in the inguinal adipose tissue, and this effect is attenuated by angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2) activation. AT2 activation in inguinal adipocytes opposes norepinephrine-induced uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) production and aspects of cellular respiration, but not lipolysis. AT2 activation also opposes inguinal adipocyte function and differentiation responses to epidermal growth factor (EGF). These results highlight a major, multifaceted role for AT2 within inguinal adipocytes in the control of RMR. The AT2 receptor may therefore contribute to body fat distribution and adipose depot-specific effects upon cardio-metabolic health.

Concepts: Metabolism, Epidermal growth factor, Fat, Adipose tissue, Angiotensin, Adipocyte, Angiotensin receptor, Resistin

30

 To evaluate the outcomes with use of renin angiotensin system (RAS) blockers compared with other antihypertensive agents in people with diabetes.

Concepts: Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Randomized controlled trial, Blood pressure, Angiotensin, Renin-angiotensin system, Renin

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OBJECTIVE: Neuropathic pain is an area of unmet clinical need. The objective of this study was to define the pharmacokinetics, oral bioavailability, and efficacy in rats of small molecule antagonists of the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2 R) for the relief of neuropathic pain. DESIGN AND METHODS.: Adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats received single intravenous (1-10 mg/kg) or oral (5-10 mg/kg) bolus doses of EMA200, EMA300, EMA400 or EMA401 (S-enantiomer of EMA400). Blood samples were collected immediately pre-dose and at specified times over a 12- to 24-hour post-dosing period. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to measure plasma drug concentrations. Efficacy was assessed in adult male SD rats with a unilateral chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve. RESULTS.: After intravenous administration in rats, mean (±standard error of the mean) plasma clearance for EMA200, EMA300, EMA400, and EMA401 was 9.3, 6.1, 0.7, and 1.1 L/hour/kg, respectively. After oral dosing, the dose-normalized systemic exposures of EMA400 and EMA401 were 20- to 30-fold and 50- to 60-fold higher than that for EMA300 and EMA200, respectively. The oral bioavailability of EMA400 and EMA401 was similar at ∼30%, whereas it was only 5.9% and 7.1% for EMA200 and EMA300, respectively. In CCI rats, single intraperitoneal bolus doses of EMA200, EMA300, and EMA400 evoked dose-dependent pain relief. The pain relief potency rank order in CCI rats was EMA400 > EMA300 > EMA200 in agreement with the dose-normalized systemic exposure rank order in SD rats. CONCLUSION.: The small molecule AT2 R antagonist, EMA401, is in clinical development as a novel analgesic for the relief of neuropathic pain.

Concepts: Protein, Pharmacology, Mass spectrometry, Intravenous therapy, Pain, Angiotensin, Pharmacokinetics, Angiotensin II receptor type 2