Abstract 39: Adrenal ßArrestin1 Raises Serum Aldosterone Levels And Blood Pressure, Both Significant Stroke Risk Factors, In Experimental Rats And Mice
Introduction: It is widely accepted nowadays that elevation of serum levels of aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone with toxic effects in several cardiovascular tissues, including the heart and cerebral blood vessels, can significantly raise stroke risk. The success of mineralocorticoid receptor blockers, such as eplerenone, at preventing stroke attacks attests to this. Aldosterone is normally produced and secreted by the adrenal cortex in response to angiotensin II. We recently reported that adrenal βarrestin1 (βarr1) plays a crucial role in the physiological angiotensin II-stimulated aldosterone production in the adrenal cortex, leading to marked elevation of circulating serum aldosterone levels in vivo (Lymperopoulos A. et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2009;106:5825-5830).
Hypothesis: Herein, we examined the potential impact of this adrenal βarr1-dependent aldosterone elevation on stroke risk in experimental animals in vivo.
Methods: We used the βarr1 knockout (βarr1KO) mouse model, studying it alongside wild type (WT) control mice, and also adult male Sprague-Dawley rats, in which adrenal βarr1 was overexpressed in vivo via adrenal-targeted adenoviral-mediated βarr1 gene transfer. Serum aldosterone was measured by ELISA and blood pressure via telemetry.
Results: Serum aldosterone at 7 days post-in vivo gene delivery was markedly elevated in adrenal βarr1-overexpressing rats (536+50 pg/ml), compared to control rats receiving the green fluorescent protein (GFP) adenoviral transgene (235+40 pg/ml, p<0.05, n=5). This translated to a significant increase in mean arterial pressure of the βarr1-overexpressing rats (155+5 mmHg) compared to control GFP-expressing rats (137+8 mmHg, p<0.05, n=5), again at 7 days post-in vivo gene delivery, which was prevented by concurrent eplerenone treatment. In contrast, βarr1KO mice had significantly lower serum aldosterone levels (270+20 pg/ml) compared to WT controls (498+35 pg/ml, p<0.05, n=5), at 4 weeks post-experimental myocardial infarction.
Conclusions: Adrenal βarr1 up-regulation can dramatically increase circulating aldosterone levels and systemic blood pressure, thus conferring increased risk for stroke in experimental rodents.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.