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Angiotensin-(1-7) (Ang-(1-7)) is discovered as a new peptide in the renin-angiotensin system. Ang-(1-7) has been shown to counteract many bioactivities of Angiotensin II (Ang II) and protect against cardiovascular disease. Smooth muscle cell apoptosis plays an important role in the progression of atherosclerotic plaque. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the effect of Ang-(1-7) on Ang II-induced apoptosis in human smooth muscle cells (SMCs).
MTT was used to determine cellular viability. Hoechst 33342 staining was used to analyze the apoptosis of SMC. Western Blot was performed to observe the expression of cleaved caspase-3.
The results showed that Ang II decreased SMC viability, while Ang-(1-7) alone showed no effects. However, Ang-(1-7) negatively modulated the inhibitory effect of Ang II on SMC viability in a concentration dependent manner. Ang II promoted fragmentation of nucleus and caspase-3 expression in SMCs, which was inhibited by Ang-(1-7). The utility of Ang II type 2 receptor antagonist effectively decreased Ang II-induced apoptosis. In addition, the inhibitory effects of Ang-(1-7) on Ang II-induced apoptosis were reversed by Ang-(1-7) antagonist A779.
Our study suggests that Ang-(1-7) can negatively regulate Ang II-induced HSMC apoptosis, indicating that Ang-(1-7) may play a protective role in atherosclerosis via inhibiting SMC apoptosis.