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To characterize the mode of action of angiotensin II (Ang II) in cardiac remodeling, we generated chimeric mice that are made of both homozygous Ang II receptor type 1A gene (Agtr1a) null mutant cells and Agtr1a intact cells expressing the lacZ gene (ROSA26). Both Agtr1a null and intact myocytes and interstitial cells independently form areas that are randomly distributed throughout the heart. The distribution of ROSA26 cardiomyocytes overlaps completely with that of Ang II binding, indicating that the majority of Ang II receptors reside on cardiomyocytes. When Ang II (1 ng/g body weight/min) was infused for 2 weeks, mice developed mild to moderate hypertension. The proliferating cardiac fibroblasts identified by bromodeoxyuridine staining were present predominantly in the areas surrounded by Agtr1a intact cardiomyocytes. When control chimeric mice made of wild-type cells and ROSA26 cells (i.e., both carrying intact Agtr1a) were infused with Ang II, fibroblast proliferation was found equally in these cardiomyocyte types. When compared with Agtr1a null mutant chimeras, the control chimeras had more extensive cardiac fibrosis, most prominently in perivascular regions. Therefore, in response to Ang II, cardiac fibroblasts proliferate through both the local and systemic action of Ang II. Importantly, the former is determined by the Ang II receptor of neighboring cardiomyocytes, indicating that a communication between myocytes and fibroblasts plays an important role during Ang II-dependent cardiac remodeling.
The minK gene encodes a 129-amino acid peptide the expression of which modulates function of cardiac delayed rectifier currents (IKr and IKs), and mutations in minK are now recognized as one cause of the congenital long-QT syndrome. We have generated minK-deficient mice in which the bacterial lacZ gene has been substituted for the minK coding region such that beta-galactosidase expression is controlled by endogenous minK regulatory elements. In cardiac myocytes isolated from wild-type neonatal mice, IKs is rarely recorded, while IKr is common. In minK (-/-) myocytes, IKs is absent and IKr is significantly reduced and its deactivation slowed; these results further support a role for minK in modulating both IKs and IKr. Despite these changes, ECGs in (+/+) and (-/-) animals are no different at adult and at neonatal stages. ECG responses to isoproterenol are also similar in the 2 groups. beta-Galactosidase staining in postnatal minK (-/-) hearts is highly restricted, to the sinus-node region, caudal atrial septum, and proximal conducting system. Moreover, as early as embryonal day 11, segmentally restricted beta-galactosidase expression is observed in the portions of the sinoatrial and atrioventricular junctions that are thought to give rise to the conducting system, thereby implicating minK expression as an early event in conduction system development. More generally, the restricted nature of minK expression in the mouse heart suggests species-specific roles of this gene product in mediating the electrophysiological properties of the heart.
Replication-defective adenoviruses have received increasing attention as vectors for exogenous gene administration in a variety of experimental and pathological conditions. However, little information exists about their utility for in utero gene therapy, and no information exists concerning their efficacy for gene delivery during initial organogenesis in the mammalian embryo. To evaluate the feasibility of using these vectors for exogenous gene transduction during the initial stages of organogenesis in the mammal, we injected an adenovirus vector carrying the bacterial beta-galactosidase (lacZ) gene under the control of either the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter or the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) long terminal repeat (LTR) into early, post-gastrulation, mouse embryos, and evaluated expression following 36-48 h in culture. These studies suggest that adenovirus-mediated gene delivery may provide an efficient method of gene transduction during critical developmental stages with no detectable adverse effects on normal development during early morphogenesis. In addition, the type of promoter used had a significant effect on the tissue distribution of gene expression.
We null mutated the mouse angiotensin type 1B (AT1B) receptor gene (Agtr1b) by gene targeting. To identify the specific cell types carrying high Agtr1b gene transcriptional activities, the AT1B coding exon was replaced with a reporter gene, lacZ. In 6- to 8-wk-old Agtr1b -/- mice, high AT1B transcriptional activity was observed in adrenal zona glomerulosa cells and the testis, including mature and immature spermatic cells, whereas low activity was detected homogeneously in anterior pituitary cells and choroidal plexus vessel walls. A similar pattern was observed in Agtr1b +/- mice with less intensity. Microscopically, the anterior pituitary, heart, adrenal, zona glomerulosa, kidney, and the testis of Agtr1b -/- mice were intact and were indistinguishable from those of Agtr1b +/+ mice. Systemic blood pressure was comparable in Agtr1b -/- and Agtr1b +/+ mice. Moreover, plasma aldosterone level was comparable between the two mouse groups. No compensatory enhancement of AT1A mRNA was found in the kidney and adrenal gland of Agtr1b -/- mice. The observed absence of the abnormal phenotypes in Agtr1b -/- mice, which have been described for homozygous angiotensinogen null mutant mice, indicates that 1) AT1A receptors can take over the role of AT1B receptors in Agtr1b -/- mice or 2) functionally significant non-AT1, non-AT2 receptor(s) may exist for the action of angiotensin.
We have developed chimeric mice carrying 'regional' null mutation of the angiotensin type 1A (AT1A) receptor, the AT1 receptor subtype exclusively present in mouse juxtaglomerular (JG) cells. The chimeric mouse (Agtr1a -/- <--> +/+) is made up of wild-type (Agtr1a +/+) cells or cells homozygous for Agtr1a deletion (Agtr1a -/-). In the latter, the AT1A coding exon was replaced with a reporter gene, lacZ. In Agtr1a -/- <--> +/+ mice, these two clones of cells are found to be clustered and display patchy distributions in the kidney and heart. Tracking of lacZ activities in hetero- (Agtr1a +/-) and homozygous (Agtr1a -/-) deletion mutant offspring from Agtr1a -/- <--> +/+ mice revealed that the promoter activity of Agtr1a is localized in JG cells, afferent arteriolar walls, glomerular mesangial region and endothelial cells, and apical and basolateral proximal tubule membranes. The JG apparatuses of Agtr1a -/- mice are markedly enlarged with intense expression of renin mRNA and protein. In Agtr1a -/- <--> +/+ mice, these changes were proportional to the degree of chimerism. Within a given Agtr1a -/- <--> +/+ mouse, however, the degree of JG hypertrophy/hyperplasia and the expression of renin mRNA and protein were identical between Agtr1a +/+ and Agtr1a -/- cells. Thus, in the in vivo condition tested, the local interaction between angiotensin and the AT1 receptor on the JG cells has little functional contribution to the feedback regulation of JG renin synthesis.
The phase variation of type 1 fimbriation in Escherichia coli is associated with the inversion of a short DNA element. This element (switch) acts in cis to control transcription of fimA, the major fimbrial subunit gene. Thus, fimA is transcribed when the switch is in one orientation (the on orientation) but not the other (the off orientation). The fim inversion requires either fimB (on-to-off or off-to-on inversion) or fimE (on-to-off inversion only), as well as integration host factor, and is also influenced by the abundant DNA-binding protein H-NS. Here we report that an additional gene, lrp, a factor known to influence the expression of both Pap and K99 fimbriae, is also required for normal activity of the fim switch. The frequencies of both fimB-promoted and fimE-promoted inversions, and consequently the phase variation of type 1 fimbriation, are lower in lrp mutants. Lrp affects slightly the transcription of both fimB (which is increased) and fimE (which is decreased). We believe that these alterations in fimB and fimE transcription alone are unlikely to account for the sharp reduction in switching found in lrp mutants.
We describe transgenic mouse lines that express lacZ under the control of the Hox 3.3 Promoter II. The correct anterior boundary can be fixed by 3.6 kb of promoter DNA (plus 1.6 kb of 5' transcribed sequences), both in tissues of ectodermal and mesodermal origin. The posterior border, however, is not respected, and lacZ expression continues into the tail region. One line has particularly strong graded expression in the anterior proximal limb bud. Other lines, containing a shorter promoter fragment (0.6 kb), have ectopic expression in the head region, including one line that has expression in the anterior half of the retina. Such mouse lines make it possible to molecularly distinguish cells in regions of the embryo that look otherwise identical and may be useful in studying the establishment of molecular differences in the mouse embryo.