The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects on blood pressure and myocardial hypertrophy in SHRs (spontaneously hypertensive rats) of RNAi (RNA interference) targeting ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme). SHRs were treated with normal saline as vehicle controls, with Ad5-EGFP as vector controls, and with recombinant adenoviral vectors Ad5-EGFP-ACE-shRNA, carrying shRNA (small hairpin RNA) for ACE as ACE-RNAi. WKY (Wistar–Kyoto) rats were used as normotensive controls treated with normal saline. The systolic blood pressure of the caudal artery was recorded. Serum levels of ACE and AngII (angiotensin II) were determined using ELISA. ACE mRNA and protein levels were determined in aorta, myocardium, kidney and lung. On day 32 of the experiment, the heart was pathologically examined. The ratios of heart weight/body weight and left ventricular weight/body weight were calculated. The serum concentration of ACE was lower in ACE-RNAi rats (16.37±3.90 ng/ml) compared with vehicle controls and vector controls (48.26±1.50 ng/ml and 46.67±2.82 ng/ml respectively; both P<0.05), but comparable between ACE-RNAi rats and WKY rats (14.88±3.15 ng/ml; P>0.05). The serum concentration of AngII was also significantly lower in ACE-RNAi rats (18.24±3.69 pg/ml) compared with vehicle controls and vector controls (46.21±5.06 pg/ml and 44.93±4.12 pg/ml respectively; both P<0.05), but comparable between ACE-RNAi rats and WKY rats (16.06±3.11 pg/ml; P>0.05). The expression of ACE mRNA and ACE protein were significantly reduced in the myocardium, aorta, kidney and lung in ACE-RNAi rats compared with that in vehicle controls and in vector controls (all P<0.05). ACE-RNAi treatment resulted in a reduction in systolic blood pressure by 22±3 mmHg and the ACE-RNAi-induced reduction lasted for more than 14 days. In contrast, blood pressure was continuously increased in the vehicle controls as well as in the vector controls. The ratios of heart weight/body weight and left ventricular weight/body weight were significantly lower in ACE-RNAi rats (3.12±0.23 mg/g and 2.24±0.19 mg/g) compared with the vehicle controls (4.29±0.24 mg/g and 3.21±0.13 mg/g; P<0.05) and the vector controls (4.43±0.19 mg/g and 3.13±0.12 mg/g; P<0.05). The conclusion of the present study is that ACE-silencing had significant antihypertensive effects and reversed hypertensive-induced cardiac hypertrophy in SHRs, and therefore RNAi might be a new strategy in controlling hypertension.
RNA interference targeting the ACE gene reduced blood pressure and improved myocardial remodelling in SHRs
Junhua He, Yunfei Bian, Fen Gao, Maolian Li, Ling Qiu, Weidong Wu, Hua Zhou, Gaizhen Liu, Chuanshi Xiao; RNA interference targeting the ACE gene reduced blood pressure and improved myocardial remodelling in SHRs. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 February 2009; 116 (3): 249–255. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20080048
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