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

Essential roles for angiotensin receptor AT1a in bleomycin-induced apoptosis and lung fibrosis in mice.

Apoptosis of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) has been implicated as a key event in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis. Recent studies demonstrated a role for the synthesis and binding of angiotensin II to receptor AT1 in the induction of AEC apoptosis by bleomycin (BLEO) and other proapoptotic stimuli. On this basis we hypothesized that BLEO-induced apoptosis and lung fibrosis in mice would be inhibited by the AT1 antagonist losartan (LOS) or by targeted deletion of the AT1 gene. Lung fibrosis was induced by intratracheal administration of BLEO (1 U/kg) to wild-type C57BL/6J mice. Co-administration of LOS abrogated BLEO-induced increases in total lung caspase 3 activity detected 6 hours after in vivo administration and reduced by 57% BLEO-induced caspase 3 activity in blood-depleted lung explants exposed to BLEO ex vivo (both P < 0.05). Co-administration of LOS in vivo reduced DNA fragmentation and immunoreactive caspase 3 (active form) in AECs, measured at 14 days after intratracheal BLEO, by 66% and 74%, respectively (both P < 0.05). LOS also inhibited the accumulation of lung hydroxyproline by 45%. The same three measures of apoptosis and lung fibrosis were reduced by 89%, 85%, and 75%, respectively (all P < 0.01), in mice with a targeted disruption of the AT1a receptor gene (C57BL/6J-Agtr1a(tm1Unc)). These data indicate an essential role for angiotensin receptor AT1a in the pathogenesis of BLEO- induced lung fibrosis in mice and suggest that AT1 receptor signaling is required for BLEO-induced apoptosis of AECs in mice as it is in rat and human AECs.[1]


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