Role of Mechanical Versus Humoral Effects of Angiotensin II on Vascular Remodeling

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Shanbhag, Preeti Pandurang
Taylor, W. Robert
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In this study, we investigated the role of Ang II in pathological vascular remodeling. We sought to determine whether the humoral or the mechanical effects of Ang II are the dominant factor driving the remodeling process. The following experimental groups were used: control group (untreated mice), mice treated with an angiotensin receptor blocker (Candesartan, 0.5 mg/kg/day,SQ), an ACE inhibitor (Captopril, 6 mg/kg/day), and a calcium-channel blocker (Amlodipine, 7.5 mg/kg/day). All mice (n=6 per experimental group) were from the C57Bl/6 background. The carotid ligation model was implemented to study the differences in vascular remodeling. Additionally, multiple time points (7-, 14-, and 21-days post-surgery) were used to track the progression of remodeling. In Day-7 analysis, all three treatment groups yielded similar remodeling patterns as evidenced by a significant reduction in neointimal area, medial thickening and hypertrophy compared with the control group. Histomorphometric analysis of carotid sections collected 1mm below the ligation demonstrated that the Amlodipine group had 26% reduction in total vessel area, Candesartan a 36% reduction, and Captopril a 28% reduction (p less than 0.05 in all groups compared with Control), as well as a parallel 38-40% drop in medial thickness. In Day-14 analysis, no significant differences between the Controls and treatment groups were observed, although differences were emerging between the treatment groups. Candesartan was found to reduce the extent of negative remodeling observed between the 7- and 14-day Control data, whereas the Captopril group did not exhibit this trend. All treatment groups exhibited less neointimal formation than Controls, similar to Day-7. By the 21-day time point, the Captopril group underwent positive remodeling, resembling the Candesartan and Amlodipine groups. Although total vessel area was analogous among all groups, neointimal areas were significantly decreased in the treatment groups. Blood pressure plays a pivotal role in the modulation of vascular remodeling in response to mechanical injury. Although intermediate timepoint analysis suggests that humoral aspects of ACE inhibition or angiotensin-receptor blockade yielded unique effects on the overall vessel caliber, upon reaching the late, 21-day time point, the mechanical factors became predominant. These data support the importance of blood pressure control in the attenuation of pathological vascular remodeling.
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