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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Influence of vascular smooth muscle heterogeneity on angiotensin converting enzyme activity in chicken embryonic aorta and in endothelial cells in culture.

The smooth muscle of the abdominal region of the chicken aorta derives from locally recruited mesenchyme (mesenchymal smooth muscle), whereas that of the thoracic region derives from the neural crest (ectomesenchymal smooth muscle). We hypothesized that this smooth muscle heterogeneity might affect important enzymatic functions of the vessel wall. Therefore, we measured angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in homogenates of chicken thoracic and abdominal aorta at different embryonic stages (days 10, 14, and 18 of gestation). ACE activity increased in both regions over the time of gestation (p less than 0.001 in both cases); the increase was steeper and ACE activity was higher in thoracic than in abdominal segments (p less than 0.001). Km values were similar (approximately 7 microM) at all times and between the two segments, whereas changes in Vmax values closely paralleled those in enzyme activity, indicating gestation-dependent increases in the amount of enzyme. Neural crest ablation at an early developmental stage resulted in an increase of ACE activity in thoracic homogenates (p less than 0.001), predictably leaving that in abdominal homogenates unaffected. Bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cell monolayers exposed to media conditioned with cultured mesenchymal or ectomesenchymal smooth muscle cells exhibited elevated ACE activity (46% and 83%, respectively, relative to control medium, with p less than 0.01 in both cases; p less than 0.05 between the two media). Increases in endothelial cell ACE activity corresponded to proportional increases in ACE protein determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (r = 0.99) and were interpreted as indicative of enhanced enzyme synthesis subsequent to exposure of endothelial cells to smooth muscle-conditioned media.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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