Objective. The exact role of angiotensinogen (AGT) in vascular remodeling has yet to be determined. In the present study, we examined the effects of reducing plasma AGT by intravenous injections with antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) against AGT targeted to the liver on vascular remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Design and methods. The ODNs against rat AGT were coupled to asialoglycoprotein (ASOR) carrier molecules, which serve as an important method for regulating liver gene expression. Male SHRs (n = 18) and age-matched male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats (n = 4) were used for this study. All animals were fed a standard rat diet throughout the experiment. At 10 weeks of age, the SHRs were divided into three groups (n = 6); systolic blood pressure (SBP) was similar in each group. The control group received saline, the sense group was injected with the sense ODN complex and the antisense group was injected with the antisense ODN complex. WKY rats were fed for the same period of time. The ASOR-poly(L)lysine-ODN complex was injected into the tail veins twice a week. Results. At the end of the treatment, a reduction in AGT mRNA levels in the liver and plasma AGT was observed only in the animals injected with antisense ODNs. Antisense ODNs significantly reduced the plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) concentrations to levels similar to those observed in WKY rats. Antisense ODNs significantly reduced the SEP (180.7 ± 4.4 mmHg) and media cross-sectional areas of the aorta (1.11 ± 0.02 mm2), which were still larger than those seen in WKY rats (140.3 ± 2.1 mmHg, 0.84 ± 0.02 mm2), compared with the SHRs injected with sense ODNs (225.2 ± 4.4 mmHg, 1.24 ± 0.02 mm2) and control SHRs (223.7 ± 4.8 mmHg, 1.25 ± 0.02 mm2). The aortic angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity and collagen concentrations, which were significantly higher than those seen in WKY rats, did not significantly change among the SHR groups. The aortic AGT, ACE, angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor and angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor mRNA also did not significantly change among the SHR groups. Conclusion On the basis of these findings, plasma AGT is thus considered to play a role in the development of hypertrophy of smooth muscle in the aorta of SHRs, it is thought to have only a slight effect, however, on the remodeling of the matrix tissue when the suppression of hypertension is insufficient (C) Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
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