Experimental cell research

Angiotensin-(1-7) counteracts angiotensin II-induced dysfunction in cerebral endothelial cells via modulating Nox2/ROS and PI3K/NO pathways.

PMID 26101159


Angiotensin (Ang) II, the main effector of the renin-angiotensin system, has been implicated in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. Ang-(1-7) binds to the G protein-coupled Mas receptor (MasR) and can exert vasoprotective effects. We investigated the effects and underlying mechanisms of Ang-(1-7) on Ang II-induced dysfunction and oxidative stress in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HbmECs). The pro-apoptotic activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) productions in HbmECs were measured. The protein expressions of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 2 (Nox2), serine/threonine kinase (Akt), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and their phosphorylated forms (p-Akt and p-eNOS) were examined by western blot. MasR antagonist and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor were used for receptor/pathway verification. We found that Ang-(1-7) suppressed Ang II-induced pro-apoptotic activity, ROS over-production and NO reduction in HbmECs, which were abolished by MasR antagonist. In addition, Ang-(1-7) down-regulated the expression of Nox2, and up-regulated the ratios of p-Akt/Akt and its downstream p-eNOS/eNOS in HbmECs. Exposure to PI3K inhibitor partially abrogated Ang-(1-7)-mediated protective effects in HbmECs. Our data suggests that Ang-(1-7)/MasR axis protects HbmECs from Ang II-induced dysfunction and oxidative stress via inhibition of Nox2/ROS and activation of PI3K/NO pathways.