Research Papers:

Insufficient hypothalamic angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is associated with hypertension in SHR rats

Kun Wang, Yuanyuan Xu, Weiwei Yang and Yuanshu Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:20244-20251. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15666

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Kun Wang1, Yuanyuan Xu1, Weiwei Yang1, Yuanshu Zhang1

1College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

Correspondence to:

Yuanshu Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: SHR, ACE2, hypothalamus, pituitary, hypertension

Received: April 25, 2016     Accepted: January 03, 2017     Published: February 24, 2017


Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key enzyme in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which is implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. In this study we investigated the expression of ACE2 in the hypothalamus and pituitary tissues and its relationship to hypertension by comparing them in male WKY and SHR rats. We observed that the plasma levels of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and aldosterone (ALD) were all lower in SHR than WKY rats (P<0.05), whereas plasma angiotensin II (AngII) levels were higher in SHR rats (P<0.05). Levels of ACE mRNA and protein were higher in the hypothalamus of SHR than WKY rats (P<0.05). By contrast, hypothalamic expression of ACE2 protein was lower in SHR rats (P<0.05), despite comparable mRNA levels in SHR and WKY rats. There were no differences in the expression levels of ACE, ACE2, AT1 or Mas mRNA in the pituitaries of SHR and WKY rats (P>0.05). These results suggest that insufficiency of hypothalamic ACE2 is associated with hypertension in SHR rats.

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