Effects of angiotensin II and its metabolites in the rat coronary vascular bed: Is angiotensin III the preferred ligand of the angiotensin AT2 receptor?
Aminopeptidases metabolize angiotensin II to angiotensin-(2-8) (= angiotensin III) and angiotensin-(3-8) (= angiotensin IV), and carboxypeptidases generate angiotensin-(1-7) from angiotensin I and II. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and/or angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor blockers affect the concentrations of these metabolites, and they may thus contribute to the beneficial effects of these drugs, possibly through stimulation of non-classical angiotensin AT receptors. Here, we investigated the effects of angiotensin II, angiotensin III, angiotensin IV and angiotensin-(1-7) in the rat coronary vascular bed, with or without angiotensin AT1- or angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor blockade. Results were compared to those in rat iliac arteries and abdominal aortas. Angiotensin II, angiotensin III and angiotensin IV constricted coronary arteries via angiotensin AT1receptor stimulation, angiotensin III and angiotensin IV being ≈ 20- and ≈ 8000-fold less potent than angiotensin II. The angiotensin AT2receptor antagonist PD123319 greatly enhanced the constrictor effects of angiotensin III, starting at angiotensin III concentrations in the low nanomolar range. PD123319 enhanced the angiotensin II-induced constriction at submicromolar angiotensin II concentrations only. Angiotensin-(1-7) exerted no effects in the coronary circulation, although, at micromolar concentrations, it blocked angiotensin AT1receptor-induced constriction. Angiotensin AT2receptor-mediated relaxation did not occur in iliac arteries and abdominal aortas, and the constrictor effects of the angiotensin metabolites in these vessels were identical to those in the coronary vascular bed. In conclusion, angiotensin AT2receptor activation in the rat coronary vascular bed results in vasodilation, and angiotensin III rather than angiotensin II is the preferred endogenous agonist of these receptors. Angiotensin II, angiotensin III, angiotensin IV and angiotensin-(1-7) do not exert effects through non-classical angiotensin AT receptors in the rat coronary vascular bed, iliac artery or aorta.