Research Papers: Pathology:

Renal denervation attenuates aldosterone expression and associated cardiovascular pathophysiology in angiotensin II-induced hypertension

Mo-Na Hong, Xiao-Dong Li, Dong-Rui Chen, Cheng-Chao Ruan, Jian-Zhong Xu, Jing Chen, Yong-Jie Wu, Yu Ma, Ding-Liang Zhu, Ping-Jin Gao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:67828-67840. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12182

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Mo-Na Hong1,2,*, Xiao-Dong Li1,2,3,*, Dong-Rui Chen1,2, Cheng-Chao Ruan1,2,3, Jian-Zhong Xu1,2, Jing Chen1,2, Yong-Jie Wu1,2, Yu Ma1,2, Ding-Liang Zhu1,2 and Ping-Jin Gao1,2,3

1 Department of Hypertension, State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Hypertension, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

2 Shanghai Institute of Hypertension, Shanghai, China

3 Laboratory of Vascular Biology and Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology, Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

* These authors have contributed equally as first authors to this article

Correspondence to:

Ping-Jin Gao, email:

Xiao-Dong Li, email:

Keywords: aldosterone, angiotensin II, remodeling, renal denervation, sympathetic nervous system, Pathology Section

Received: April 27, 2016 Accepted: September 14, 2016 Published: September 21, 2016


The sympathetic nervous system interacts with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) contributing to cardiovascular diseases. In this study, we sought to determine if renal denervation (RDN) inhibits aldosterone expression and associated cardiovascular pathophysiological changes in angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension. Bilateral RDN or SHAM operation was performed before chronic 14-day Ang II subcutaneous infusion (200ng/kg/min) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Bilateral RDN blunted Ang II-induced hypertension and ameliorated the mesenteric vascular dysfunction. Cardiovascular hypertrophy in response to Ang II was significantly attenuated by RDN as shown by histopathology and transthoracic echocardiography. Moreover, Ang II-induced vascular and myocardial inflammation and fibrosis were suppressed by RDN with concurrent decrease in fibronectin and collagen deposition, macrophage infiltration, and MCP-1 expression. Interestingly, RDN also inhibited Ang II-induced aldosterone expression in the plasma, kidney and heart. This was associated with the reduction of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the adrenal gland. Ang II promoted aldosterone secretion which was partly attenuated by CGRP in the adrenocortical cell line, suggesting a protective role of CGRP in this model. Activation of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/Smad and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling pathway was both inhibited by RDN especially in the heart. These results suggest that the regulation of the renal sympathetic nerve in Ang II-induced hypertension and associated cardiovascular pathophysiological changes is likely mediated by aldosterone, with CGRP involvement.

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