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Congestive heart failure is a progressive disorder that is frequently preceded by asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction. We reviewed the epidemiology, diagnosis, and natural history of asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction and evaluated community-wide screening for this condition as a potential strategy to reduce the incidence of heart failure. Asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction has an estimated prevalence of 3% to 6%, and is at least as common in the community as systolic heart failure. Because it often occurs in the absence of known cardiovascular disease, this condition may go unrecognized and undertreated. In randomized trials, individuals with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction have high rates of incident heart failure and death. However, little is known about the prognosis of individuals with this condition in the community, who have a substantially lower prevalence of myocardial infarction, have milder degrees of systolic dysfunction, and are older than patients enrolled in clinical trials. Current evidence is inadequate to support community-wide screening for asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction, either with echocardiography or with assays for natriuretic peptides. Given the increasing prevalence of heart failure, additional studies are needed to develop effective strategies to detect and optimally manage individuals with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction in the community.
AIM - In adult mammalian kidney, COX-2 expression is found in a restricted subpopulation of cells. The two sites of renal COX-2 localization detected in all species to date are the macula densa (MD) and associated cortical thick ascending limb cells (cTALH) and medullary interstitial cells. Physiological regulation of COX-2 in these cellular compartments suggests functional roles for eicosanoid products of the enzyme. In the MD region, COX-2 expression increases in high renin states [salt restriction, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition, renovascular hypertension], and selective COX-2 inhibitors significantly decrease plasma renin levels and renal renin activity and mRNA expression. An important role for COX-2-derived prostanoids in regulation of renin expression and secretion has also been determined by using mice with selective genetic deletion of either the COX-1 or COX-2 gene. There is evidence for negative regulation of MD/cTALH COX-2 by angiotensin II and by glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, suggesting that in the kidney, cortical COX-2 expression is regulated in part by alterations in activity of the renin-angiotensin system.
BACKGROUND - Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition potentiates the tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) response to exogenous bradykinin. This study tested the hypothesis that ACE inhibition increases endothelial t-PA release through endogenous bradykinin.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We measured the effect of intra-arterial enalaprilat (5 micro g/min) on forearm blood flow (FBF) and net t-PA release before and during intra-arterial infusion of bradykinin (25 to 400 ng/min) and methacholine (3.2 to 12.8 microg/min) in 24 smokers pretreated with bradykinin receptor antagonist HOE 140 (100 microg/kg intravenously) or vehicle. There was no specific effect of HOE 140 on FBF or forearm vascular resistance (FVR, 29.9+/-3.6 versus 29.7+/-3.6 mm Hg x mL(-1) x min(-1) x 100 mL(-1) after vehicle and HOE 140, respectively, P=0.956 between groups). Resting FVR decreased during enalaprilat compared with vehicle or HOE 140, but not compared with baseline, and the effect was similar in the 2 groups (22.0+/-2.7 and 24.1+/-2.9 mm Hg x mL(-1) x min(-1) x 100 mL(-1), respectively, P=0.610). In contrast, enalaprilat significantly increased resting net t-PA release (from 0.6+/-0.4 to 1.7+/-0.6 ng. min(-1) x 100 mL(-1), P=0.002); this effect was abolished by HOE 140 (0.1+/-0.3 ng x min(-1) x 100 mL(-1), P=0.036 versus enalaprilat alone). Enalaprilat increased the effect of exogenous bradykinin on FBF 60% (from 17.5+/-2.5 to 28.1+/-4.0 mL. min(-1) x 100 mL(-1) during 100 ng/min bradykinin, P=0.001) and on t-PA release 14-fold (from 21.2+/-7.9 to 317.4+/-118.9 ng x min(-1) x 100 mL(-1), P=0.024). Enalaprilat increased the t-PA response to bradykinin to a greater extent than the FBF response, shifting the relationship between net t-PA release and FBF (P=0.005). HOE 140 blocked these effects. There was no effect of enalaprilat or HOE 140 on the FBF or t-PA response to methacholine.
CONCLUSION - ACE inhibition increases constitutive endothelial t-PA release through endogenous bradykinin.
ACE inhibition reduces plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), a risk factor for myocardial infarction, whereas the effect of angiotensin receptor antagonism on PAI-1 is uncertain. The present study compares the time course of effects of ACE inhibition and angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonism on morning plasma PAI-1 antigen. Blood pressure and endocrine, metabolic, and fibrinolytic variables were measured in 20 insulin-resistant (defined by fasting glucose >8.3 mmol/L, body mass index >28 kg/m2, or fasting serum triglyceride > or =2.8 mmol/L) hypertensive subjects (mean age, 47.9+/-2.1 years) (1) before and after 1 week of hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg/d, and (2) before and 1, 3, 4, and 6 weeks after addition of ramipril (escalated to 10 mg/d) or losartan (escalated to 100 mg/d). Hydrochlorothiazide decreased systolic (P=0.011) and diastolic (P=0.019) pressure. Ramipril (from 133.6+/-5.1/94.5+/-2.4 to 127.0+/-3.1/91.4+/-3.3 mm Hg) or losartan (from 137.0+/-3.9/93.1+/-2.9 to 123.7+/-2.6/86.4+/-2.1 mm Hg) further reduced systolic (P=0.009) and diastolic (P=0.037) pressure. The pressure effects of the 2 drugs were similar. Hydrochlorothiazide increased plasma PAI-1 (P=0.013) but not tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) (P=0.431) antigen. Addition of either ramipril or losartan significantly decreased plasma PAI-1 antigen (P=0.046). However, the effect of losartan on PAI-1 antigen was not sustained throughout the 6-week treatment period, such that there was a significant drugxtime interaction (P=0.043). tPA antigen decreased during either ramipril or losartan (P=0.032), but tPA activity decreased only during losartan (P=0.018). Short-term interruption of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system by either ACE inhibition or AT1 receptor antagonism decreases PAI-1 antigen, but the duration of this effect is greater for ACE inhibition than for AT1 receptor antagonism.
It is well known that nonselective, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit renal renin production. Our previous studies indicated that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI)-mediated renin increases were absent in rats treated with a cyclooxygenase (COX)-2-selective inhibitor and in COX-2 -/- mice. The current study examined further whether COX-1 is also involved in mediating ACEI-induced renin production. Because renin increases are mediated by cAMP, we also examined whether increased renin is mediated by the prostaglandin E(2) receptor EP(2) subtype, which is coupled to G(s) and increases cAMP. Therefore, we investigated if genetic deletion of COX-1 or EP(2) prevents increased ACEI-induced renin expression. Age- and gender-matched wild-type (+/+) and homozygous null mice (-/-) were administered captopril for 7 days, and plasma and renal renin levels and renal renin mRNA expression were measured. There were no significant differences in the basal level of renal renin activity from plasma or renal tissue in COX-1 +/+ and -/- mice. Captopril administration increased renin equally [plasma renin activity (PRA): +/+ 9.3 +/- 2.2 vs. 50.1 +/- 10.9; -/- 13.7 +/- 1.5 vs. 43.9 +/- 6.6 ng ANG I x ml(-1) x h(-1); renal renin concentration: +/+ 11.8 +/- 1.7 vs. 35.3 +/- 3.9; -/- 13.0 +/- 3.0 vs. 27.8 +/- 2.7 ng ANG I x mg protein(-1) x h(-1); n = 6; P < 0.05 with or without captopril]. ACEI also increased renin mRNA expression (+/+ 2.4 +/- 0.2; -/- 2.1 +/- 0.2 fold control; n = 6-10; P < 0.05). Captopril led to similar increases in EP(2) -/- compared with +/+. The COX-2 inhibitor SC-58236 blocked ACEI-induced elevation in renal renin concentration in EP(2) null mice (+/+ 24.7 +/- 1.7 vs. 9.8 +/- 0.4; -/- 21.1 +/- 3.2 vs. 9.3 +/- 0.4 ng ANG I x mg protein(-1) x h(-1); n = 5) as well as in COX-1 -/- mice (SC-58236-treated PRA: +/+ 7.3 +/- 0.6; -/- 8.0 +/- 0.9 ng ANG I x ml(-1) x h(-1); renal renin: +/+ 9.1 +/- 0.9; -/- 9.6 +/- 0.5 ng ANG I x mg protein(-1) x h(-1); n = 6-7; P < 0.05 compared with no treatment). Immunohistochemical analysis of renin expression confirmed the above results. This study provides definitive evidence that metabolites of COX-2 rather than COX-1 mediate ACEI-induced renin increases. The persistent response in EP(2) nulls suggests involvement of prostaglandin E(2) receptor subtype 4 and/or prostacyclin receptor (IP).
The present studies were performed to determine the contribution of EP(2) receptors to renal hemodynamics by examining afferent arteriolar responses to PGE(2), butaprost, sulprostone, and endothelin-1 in EP(2) receptor-deficient male mice (EP(2)-/-). Afferent arteriolar diameters averaged 17.8 +/- 0.8 microm in wild-type (EP(2)+/+) mice and 16.7 +/- 0.7 microm in EP(2)-/- mice at a renal perfusion pressure of 100 mmHg. Vessels from both groups of mice responded to norepinephrine (0.5 microM) with similar 17-19% decreases in diameter. Diameters of norepinephrine-preconstricted afferent arterioles increased by 7 +/- 2 and 20 +/- 6% in EP(2)+/+ mice in response to 1 microM PGE(2) and 1 microM butaprost, respectively. In contrast, afferent arteriolar diameter of EP(2)-/- mice decreased by 13 +/- 3 and 16 +/- 6% in response to PGE(2) and butaprost. The afferent arteriolar vasoconstriction to butaprost in EP(2)-/- mice was eliminated by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Sulprostone, an EP(1) and EP(3) receptor ligand, decreased afferent arteriolar diameter in both groups; however, the vasoconstriction in the EP(2)-/- mice was greater than in the EP(2)+/+ mice. Endothelin-1-mediated afferent arteriolar diameter responses were enhanced in EP(2)-/- mice. Afferent arteriolar diameter decreased by 29 +/- 7% in EP(2)-/- and 12 +/- 7% in EP(2)+/+ mice after administration of 1 nM endothelin-1. These results demonstrate that the EP(2) receptor mediates a portion of the PGE(2) afferent arteriolar vasodilation and buffers the renal vasoconstrictor responses elicited by EP(1) and EP(3) receptor activation as well as endothelin-1.
Bradykinin and substance P have been implicated as mediators in angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI)-associated angioedema. Studies investigating the metabolism of bradykinin in sera from patients with a history of ACEI-associated angioedema and controls suggest that there is a defect in a non-ACE, non-kininase I pathway of bradykinin degradation, such as the aminopeptidase P (APP)/dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) pathway. This study tested the hypothesis that serum APP or DPPIV activity is decreased in patients with ACEI-associated angioedema. APP and DPPIV activity were measured in sera collected from patients during ACEI-associated angioedema, from patients with a remote history of ACEI-associated angioedema, and from normotensive and untreated hypertensive controls. The effects of acute and chronic ACEI and corticosteroid treatment on serum DPPIV activity were also assessed. DPPIV activity was similar in normotensive volunteers (37.8 +/- 6.3 nmol/mL per min), in untreated hypertensive subjects who had been exposed previously to ACEI without angioedema (36.2 +/- 4.3 nmol/mL per min), in hypertensive patients with a remote history of angioedema (35.1 +/-8.5 nmol/mL per min), and in chronically ACEI-treated hypertensive subjects (36.1 +/- 5.6 nmol/mL per min). DPPIV activity decreased with increasing age (R(2)=0.10, P=0.016). Subject group significantly affected DPPIV activity (F=6.208, P=0.016) such that DPPIV activity was significantly lower in patients with ACEI-associated angioedema (26.9 +/- 4.1 nmol/mL per min) than in normotensive controls, in previously ACEI-exposed untreated hypertensive volunteers, or in ACEI-treated hypertensive volunteers, even after controlling for age. There was no effect of acute ACE inhibition or corticosteroids on DPPIV activity. With respect to APP activity, there was no difference between groups. These results suggest that DPPIV activity is depressed in individuals with hypertension during acute ACEI-associated angioedema.
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is expressed in macula densa (MD) and surrounding cortical thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (cTALH) and is involved in regulation of renin production. We and others have previously found that selective COX-2 inhibitors can inhibit renal renin production (Cheng HF, Wang JL, Zhang MZ, Miyazaki Y, Ichikawa I, McKanna JA, and Harris RC. J Clin Invest 103: 953-961, 1999; Harding P, Sigmon DH, Alfie ME, Huang PL, Fishman MC, Beierwaltes WH, and Carretero OA. Hypertension 29: 297-302, 1997; Traynor TR, Smart A, Briggs JP, and Schnermann J. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 277: F706-F710, 1999; Wang JL, Cheng HF, and Harris RC. Hypertension 34: 96-101, 1999). In the present studies, we utilized mice with genetic deletions of the COX-2 gene in order to investigate further the potential role of COX-2 in mediation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Age-matched wild-type (+/+), heterozygotes (+/-), and homozygous null mice (-/-) were administered the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), captopril, for 7 days. ACEI failed to significantly increase plasma renin activity, renal renin mRNA expression, and renal renin activity in (-/-) mice. ACEI increased the number of cells expressing immunoreactive renin in the (+/+) mice both by inducing more juxtaglomerular cells to express immunoreactive renin and by recruiting additional renin-expressing cells in the more proximal afferent arteriole. In contrast, there was minimal recruitment of renin-expressing cells in the more proximal afferent arteriole of the -/- mice. In summary, these results indicate that ACEI-mediated increases in renal renin production were defective in COX-2 knockout (K/O) mice and provide further indication that MD COX-2 is an important mediator of the renin-angiotensin system.
We have previously shown that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is localized to the cortical thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (cTALH)/macula densa of the rat kidney, and expression increases in response to low-salt diet and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. Because of the localization of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) to macula densa and surrounding cTALH, the present study investigated the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of COX-2 expression. For in vivo studies, rats were fed a normal diet, low-salt diet or low-salt diet combined with the ACE inhibitor captopril. In each group, one-half of them were treated with the nNOS inhibitors 7-nitroinidazole (7-NI) or S-methyl-thiocitrulline. Both of these NOS inhibitors inhibited increases in COX-2 mRNA and immunoreactive protein in response to low salt and low salt+captopril. For in vitro studies, COX-2 expression was studied in primary cultures of rabbit cTALH cells immunodisssected with Tamm-Horsfall antibody. Basal COX-2 immunoreactivity expression was stimulated by S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP), an NO donor, and intracellular cGMP concentration. The cultured cells expressed immunoreactive nNOS, and 7-NI inhibited basal COX-2 immunoreactivity expression, which could be partially overcome by cGMP. In summary, these studies indicate that NO is a mediator of increased renal cortical COX-2 expression seen in volume depletion and suggest important interactions between the NO and COX-2 systems in the regulation of arteriolar tone and the renin-angiotensin system by the macula densa.
BACKGROUND - We have previously shown that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is low in the renal cortex of adult rats, but is increased in macula densa/cortical thick ascending limb and in glomerular podocytes after subtotal renal ablation.
METHODS - To evaluate the functional consequences of this increased COX-2 expression, male rats were subjected to subtotal renal ablation and divided into four groups: (1) treatment with the selective COX-2 inhibitor SC58236, (2) treatment with vehicle, (3) treatment with the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril, and (4) treatment with enalapril + SC58236. The administration of drugs was begun on the third day after ablation and continued for 6 to 10 weeks.
RESULTS - Within one week after ablation, vehicle-treated rats developed hypertension. Although enalapril led to significant reductions in blood pressure, either alone or in combination with the COX-2 inhibitor, SC58236 alone did not significantly alter ablation-induced hypertension. However, the SC58236-treated animals exhibited levels of proteinuria at six weeks after ablation that were comparable to those seen with enalapril (vehicle, 47 +/- 4; enalapril, 27 +/- 2; SC58236, 30 +/- 2 mg/day; N = 7, P < 0.01, each group compared with vehicle), and continued SC58236 treatment led to persistent reductions in proteinuria at 10 weeks after renal ablation (vehicle, 77 +/- 4; SC58236, 50 +/- 4 mg/day; N = 6, P < 0. 01). SC58236 treatment also significantly reduced the percentage of glomeruli exhibiting segmental or global sclerosis at 10 weeks (32.6 +/- 7.8% vs. 10.9 +/- 2.8%, N = 6, P < 0.03). Furthermore, SC58236 treatment partially inhibited increases in transforming growth factor-beta1 mRNA expression and increases in collagen III and collagen IV mRNA expression.
CONCLUSIONS - These studies indicate that chronic treatment with a specific COX-2 inhibitor may retard the progression of progressive renal injury, and suggest that such compounds can be used in combination with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Further studies are required to determine the mechanism by which COX-2 inhibition is renoprotective.