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Circulation: Heart Failure
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 446 - 455

Loss of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Accelerates Maladaptive Left Ventricular Remodeling in Response to Myocardial Infarction

Z Kassiri, J Zhong, D Guo, R Basu, X Wang, P. P Liu, J. W Scholey, J. M Penninger and G. Y. Oudit    

Abstract:

Background— Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a monocarboxypeptidase that metabolizes Ang II into Ang 1-7, thereby functioning as a negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system. We hypothesized that ACE2 deficiency may compromise the cardiac response to myocardial infarction (MI).

Methods and Results— In response to MI (induced by left anterior descending artery ligation), there was a persistent increase in ACE2 protein in the infarct zone in wild-type mice, whereas loss of ACE2 enhanced the susceptibility to MI, with increased mortality, infarct expansion, and adverse ventricular remodeling characterized by ventricular dilation and systolic dysfunction. In ACE2-deficient hearts, elevated myocardial levels of Ang II and decreased levels of Ang 1-7 in the infarct-related zone was associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species. ACE2 deficiency leads to increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and MMP9 levels with MMP2 activation in the infarct and peri-infarct regions, as well as increased gelatinase activity leading to a disrupted extracellular matrix structure after MI. Loss of ACE2 also leads to increased neutrophilic infiltration in the infarct and peri-infarct regions, resulting in upregulation of inflammatory cytokines, interferon-, interleukin-6, and the chemokine, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, as well as increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 signaling pathways. Treatment of Ace2/y-MI mice with irbesartan, an AT1 receptor blocker, reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase activity, infarct size, MMP activation, and myocardial inflammation, ultimately resulting in improved post-MI ventricular function.

Conclusions— We conclude that loss of ACE2 facilitates adverse post-MI ventricular remodeling by potentiation of Ang II effects by means of the AT1 receptors, and supplementing ACE2 can be a potential therapy for ischemic heart disease.

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