Angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor stimulation has been linked to vasodilation. Yet, AT2 receptor-independent hypertension and hypotension (or no effect on blood pressure) have been observed in vivo after application of the AT2 receptor agonist compound 21 (C21). We, therefore, studied its effects in vitro, using preparations known to display AT2 receptor-mediated responses. Hearts of Wistar rats, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), C57Bl/6 mice, and AT2 receptor knockout mice were perfused according to Langendorff. Mesenteric and iliac arteries of these animals, as well as coronary microarteries from human donor hearts, were mounted in Mulvany myographs. In the coronary vascular bed of Wistar rats, C57Bl/6 mice, and AT2 receptor knockout mice, C21 induced constriction followed by dilation. SHR hearts displayed enhanced constriction and no dilation. Irbesartan (angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker) abolished the constriction and enhanced or (in SHRs) reintroduced dilation, and PD123319 (AT2 receptor blocker) did not block the latter. C21 relaxed preconstricted vessels of all species, and this did not depend on angiotensin II receptors, the endothelium, or the NO-guanylyl cyclase-cGMP pathway. C21 constricted SHR iliac arteries but none of the other vessels, and irbesartan prevented this. C21 shifted the concentration-response curves to U46619 (thromboxane A2 analog) and phenylephrine (α-adrenoceptor agonist) but not ionomycine (calcium ionophore) to the right. In conclusion, C21 did not cause AT2 receptor-mediated vasodilation. Yet, it did induce vasodilation by blocking calcium transport into the cell and constriction via angiotensin II type 1 receptor stimulation. The latter effect is enhanced in SHRs. These data may explain the varying effects of C21 on blood pressure in vivo.

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Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Verdonk, K, Durik, M, Abd-Alla, N, Batenburg, W.W, van den Bogaerdt, A, van Veghel, R, … van Esch, J.H.M. (2012). Compound 21 induces vasorelaxation via an endothelium-and angiotensin II type 2 receptor-independent mechanism. Hypertension, 60(3), 722–729. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.196022