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The effect of afterload and angiotension-II on proto-oncogene messenger-RNA levels in the isolated working rat-heart.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • C. Roffe
  • A. MacDiarmaid-Gordon
  • V. Ohanian
  • Sally Hollis
  • A. M. Heagery
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/1996
<mark>Journal</mark>Cardiovascular Research
Issue number6
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)907-916
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The proto-oncogenes c-fos, c-myc and H-ras have been shown to rise in a characteristic pattern in the left ventricle undergoing hypertrophy in the coarctation model of experimental hypertension and there is some evidence to suggest that they might play a role in the initiation of hypertrophic growth. However, in vivo studies do not discriminate between the direct effects of pressure and pressure-independent trophic stimuli such as angiotensin II. To examine these influences separately we studied isolated working hearts exposed to different afterloads in the presence or absence of angiotensin II. Methods: Hearts from normotensive female Wistar rats were perfused with a modified Krebs-Henseleit solution, with and without angiotensin II (100 nmol/1) and exposed to low (60 mmHg) or high (140 mmHg) afterload (n > 17/group). Proto-oncogene mRNA induction in the left ventricle was assessed by Northern blot analysis. Results: Aortic pressures were 14/63 ± 6 mmHg (mean ± s.d.) with low and 175 ± 13/93 ± 20 mmHg with high afterload; hearts in both groups maintained a stable cardiac output over 240 min, except for high afterload hearts not perfused with angiotensin II, which showed a 59% drop by the end of the experiment (P < 0.001). There was a 50% (32%, 72%) (geometric mean and 95% confidence interval) increase of c-myc and 54% (27%, 86%) increase in c-fos, but a 32% (25%, 40%) suppression of H-ras with high (140 mmHg) as compared with low (60 mmHg) afterloads (P < 0.0001 for each). There was no significant difference in c-myc and c-fos induction with different levels of high afterload (110, 120, 140 mmHg), but for H-ras suppression progressively increased with increasing afterload (P = 0.003). At high afterload, levels of c-fos rose at 30 min and peaked at 60 min, c-myc continued to rise up to 240 min, and H-ras was suppressed at all four time points. The addition of angiotensin II (100 nmol/1) to the perfusate resulted in 18% (6%, 28%; P = 0.006) lower c-myc levels, 12%(-6%,28%; P = 0.18) lower c-fos levels and an 11% (–0.1%, 24%; P = 0.056) increase of H-ras. Conclusion: The isolated perfused working rat heart is capable of performing stably for a period of at least 240 min at high afterload pressures comparable to those encountered in hypertension. A proto-oncogene induction similar to that seen in the hypertrophying heart can be induced by increased pressure alone, without the mediating effects of circulating angiotensin II. Hearts perfused with angiotensin II showed a more stable performance at high levels of afterload which was associated with a minor attenuation of pressure-induced changes in proto-oncogene expression.