Divergent roles of angiotensin II AT1 and AT2 receptors in modulating coronary microvascular function. Academic Article uri icon


  • Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a potent vasoconstrictor in the peripheral circulation and has been implicated in many cardiovascular diseases associated with elevated oxidative stress. However, its direct vasomotor action and its linkage to oxidative stress-induced vascular dysfunction in the coronary microcirculation remain elusive. In this study, we directly assessed the vasomotor action of Ang II in isolated porcine coronary arterioles and also examined whether Ang II can modulate endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated dilation via superoxide production. Ang II evoked vasoconstriction at a low concentration (1 nmol/L) and dilations at higher concentrations (>10 nmol/L). Ang II type 1 (AT(1)) receptor antagonist losartan abolished vasoconstriction, whereas Ang II type 2 (AT(2)) receptor antagonist PD 123319 eliminated vasodilation. Adenosine stimulated a significant arteriolar NO production and dilation. NO synthase inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) abolished stimulated NO production and attenuated vasodilation. Pretreating vessels with a subvasomotor concentration of Ang II (0.1 nmol/L, 60 minutes) mimicked inhibitory effects of L-NMMA. Ang II-mediated inhibition was not observed in the presence of L-NMMA or after endothelial removal but was prevented by losartan, superoxide scavenger TEMPOL, or NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin. Dihydroethidium staining showed that Ang II elicited losartan- and TEMPOL-sensitive superoxide production in arterioles. These results demonstrate that Ang II evokes AT1 receptor-mediated vasoconstriction and AT2 receptor-mediated vasodilation of coronary arterioles. Ang II at a subvasomotor level impairs endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation attributable to elevated superoxide production via AT1 receptor activation of NADPH oxidase. These data may partly explain the impaired coronary flow regulation in heart diseases associated with an upregulated renin-angiotensin system.

published proceedings

  • Circ Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, C., Hein, T. W., Wang, W., & Kuo, L.

citation count

  • 138

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Cuihua||Hein, Travis W||Wang, Wei||Kuo, Lih

publication date

  • January 2003