Angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker attenuates the activation of ERK and NADPH oxidase by mechanical strain in mesangial cells in the absence of angiotensin II

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2009 May;296(5):F1052-60. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00580.2007. Epub 2009 Mar 4.


It has been reported that mechanical strain activates extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK) without the involvement of angiotensin II (Ang II) in cardiomyocytes. We examined the effects of mechanical strain on ERK phosphorylation levels in the absence of Ang II using rat mesangial cells. The ratio of phosphorylated ERK (p-ERK) to total ERK expression was increased by cyclic mechanical strain in a time- and elongation strength-dependent manner. With olmesartan [Ang II type 1 receptor (AT1R) antagonist] pretreatment, p-ERK plateau levels decreased in a dose-dependent manner (EC(50) = 1.3 x 10(-8) M, maximal inhibition 50.6 +/- 11.0% at 10(-5) M); a similar effect was observed with RNA interference against Ang II type 1A receptor (AT(1A)R) and Tempol, a superoxide dismutase mimetic. In addition to the inhibition of p-ERK levels, olmesartan blocked the increase in cell surface and phosphorylated p47(phox) induced by mechanical strain and also lowered the mRNA expression levels of NADPH oxidase subunits. These results demonstrate that mechanical strain stimulates AT1R to phosphorylate ERK in mesangial cells in the absence of Ang II. This mechanotransduction mechanism is involved in the oxidative stress caused by NADPH oxidase and is blocked by olmesartan. The inverse agonistic activity of this AT1R blocker may be useful for the prevention of mesangial proliferation and renal damage caused by mechanical strain/oxidative stress regardless of circulating or tissue Ang II levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Autocrine Communication / drug effects
  • Autocrine Communication / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Cytochalasin D / pharmacology
  • Egtazic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Hypertension, Renal / drug therapy
  • Hypertension, Renal / metabolism
  • Hypertension, Renal / physiopathology
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mesangial Cells / cytology
  • Mesangial Cells / drug effects*
  • Mesangial Cells / enzymology*
  • MicroRNAs / pharmacology
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • NADPH Oxidase 1
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Paracrine Communication / drug effects
  • Paracrine Communication / physiology
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / genetics
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tetrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Chelating Agents
  • Imidazoles
  • MicroRNAs
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Tetrazoles
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Angiotensin II
  • Cytochalasin D
  • Egtazic Acid
  • olmesartan
  • NADH, NADPH Oxidoreductases
  • NADPH Oxidase 1
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid