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

Vascular smooth muscle polyploidy and cardiac hypertrophy in genetic hypertension.

We studied the mechanisms responsible for vascular and cardiac hypertrophy in hypertension (pressure load and humoral and genetic factors) in two experimental approaches: (1) We carried out a cosegregation analysis to correlate cardiac and vascular hypertrophy with subphenotypes of blood pressure in an F2 generation of a cross between stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats; (2) we treated 8-week-old SHRSP with perindopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; losartan, an angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonist; or perindopril combined with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor to investigate the relative contributions of blood pressure and angiotensin II to the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy and vascular smooth muscle polyploidy. Vascular smooth muscle polyploidy was measured with flow cytometry DNA analysis. Cardiac hypertrophy was assessed by measuring the ratios of heart weight to body weight and left ventricle + septum weight to body weight. Blood pressure was measured with radiotelemetry in the F2 cosegregation experiment and with tail-cuff plethysmography in the pharmacological study. In the F2 rats, the best predictor of smooth muscle polyploidy by ANCOVA was systolic pressure (F=29.28, P < .0001). The ratio of left ventricle + septum weight to body weight had four major predictors: the male progenitor of the cross, sex, pulse pressure, and change in systolic pressure during salt (F=43.67, P < .0001; F=16.37, P < .0001; F=8.41, P=.0022; and F=12.39, P= .0003, respectively). The ratio of heart weight to body weight had similar predictors. In the pharmacological study, treatment with losartan alone, perindopril alone, or perindopril in combination with N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester prevented the development of smooth muscle polyploidy and cardiac hypertrophy. The prevention of cardiac hypertrophy was most marked in the SHRSP treated with perindopril plus N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, despite blood pressure being higher in this group than in the two other treatment groups. We conclude that vascular and cardiac hypertrophy in this form of hypertension are regulated by different variables. However, suppression of the action of angiotensin II lessens hypertrophy of both types of muscle.[1]


  1. Vascular smooth muscle polyploidy and cardiac hypertrophy in genetic hypertension. Dominiczak, A.F., Devlin, A.M., Lee, W.K., Anderson, N.H., Bohr, D.F., Reid, J.L. Hypertension (1996) [Pubmed]
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