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Losartan reduced connexin43 expression in left ventricular myocardium of spontaneously hypertensive rats

By Li-li Zhao, Hong-juan Chen, Jun-zhu Chen, Min Yu, Yun-lan Ni and Wei-fang Zhang


Objective: To assess the effect of angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist losartan on myocardium connexin43 (Cx43) gap junction (GJ) expression in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and investigate possible mechanisms. Methods: Sixteen 9-week-old male SHRs and 8 age-matched male Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were included in this study. SHRs were randomly divided into two groups to receive losartan at 30 mg/(kg·d) by oral gavage once daily for 8 weeks (SHR-L) or vehicle (0.9% saline) to act as controls (SHR-V); WKY rats receiving vehicle for 8 weeks served as normotensive controls. At the end of the experiment, rats were sacrificed and the hearts were removed. Expressions of Cx43 and nuclear factor-kappaB p65 (NF-κB p65) proteins in all three groups were observed and further investigations on the effect of angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan (30 mg/(kg·d), 8 weeks) on Cx43 expression were conducted with Western blot and immunohistochemistry. NF-κB p65 protein in nuclear extracts was determined by Western blot. Results: Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy was prominent in SHRs, Cx43 and NF-κB p65 protein expressions were obviously upregulated and Cx43 distribution was dispersed over the cell surface. Treatment with losarton reduced the over-expressions of Cx43 and NF-κB p65 in LV myocardium. The distribution of Cx43 gap junction also became much regular and confined to intercalated disk after losartan treatment. Conclusion: Cx43 level was upregulated in LV myocardium of SHR during early stage of hypertrophy. Angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan prevented Cx43 gap junction remodeling in hypertrophied left ventricles, possibly through the NF-κB pathway

Topics: Biomedicine
Publisher: Zhejiang University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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