American journal of physiology. Cell physiology

Angiotensin II regulates ACE and ACE2 in neurons through p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 signaling.

PMID 23535237


Brain ANG II plays an important role in modulating sympathetic function and homeostasis. The generation and degradation of ANG II are carried out, to a large extent, through the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2, respectively. In disease states, such as hypertension and chronic heart failure, central expression of ACE is upregulated and ACE2 is decreased in central sympathoregulatory neurons. In this study, we determined the expression of ACE and ACE2 in response to ANG II in a neuronal cell culture and the subsequent signaling mechanism(s) involved. A mouse catecholaminergic neuronal cell line (CATH.a) was treated with ANG II (30, 100, and 300 nM) for 24 h, and protein expression was determined by Western blot analysis. ANG II induced a significant dose-dependent increase in ACE and decrease in ACE2 mRNA and protein expression in CATH.a neurons. This effect was abolished by pretreatment of the cells with the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB-203580 (10 μM) 30 min before administration of ANG II or the ERK1/2 inhibitor U-0126 (10 μM). These data suggest that ANG II increases ACE and attenuates ACE2 expression in neurons via the ANG II type 1 receptor, p38 MAPK, and ERK1/2 signaling pathways.