The angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor promotes apoptosis and inhibits cell proliferation. In the present study, we investigated the role of the AT2 receptor in vascular repair and remodeling following severe vascular injury using AT2 knockout (AT2KO) mice. Left femoral arteries of AT2KO mice and wild-type (WT) control mice were injured by a 0.38 mm steel wire inserted from the lumen. Twenty-eight days after the injury, a concentric vascular wall thickening, composed largely of neointima, was noted both in AT2KO and WT mice. The area occupied by the neointima and the cell count within it were not different in the two mouse strains. However, the area of the medial layer and the cell count within it were significantly larger in AT2KO mice than in WT mice. A BrdU incorporation assay showed that the proliferative activity was high in the neointima but it was not different between the strains. On the other hand, apoptosis assessed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) was significantly inhibited in the neointima and the media of AT2KO mice compared to the levels in WT mice. However, the number of TUNEL-positive cell was much smaller in the neointima than in the medial layer in both strains. Taken together, these results indicate that AT2 receptors promote the apoptosis of vascular cells but have no net effect on the neointimal cell growth or luminal narrowing after wire injury. The AT2 receptor may be involved in the control of medial layer thickness, at least in part, through medial cell apoptosis.
- Angiotensin II type 2
- Vascular smooth muscle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine