Angiotensin1-9 antagonises pro-hypertrophic signalling in cardiomyocytes via the angiotensin type 2 receptor

J Physiol. 2011 Feb 15;589(Pt 4):939-51. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2010.203075. Epub 2010 Dec 20.


The renin–angiotensin system (RAS) regulates blood pressure mainly via the actions of angiotensin (Ang)II, generated via angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). The ACE homologue ACE2 metabolises AngII to Ang1-7, decreasing AngII and increasing Ang1-7, which counteracts AngII activity via the Mas receptor. However, ACE2 also converts AngI to Ang1-9, a poorly characterised peptide which can be further converted to Ang1-7 via ACE. Ang1-9 stimulates bradykinin release in endothelium and has antihypertrophic actions in the heart, attributed to its being a competitive inhibitor of ACE, leading to decreased AngII, rather than increased Ang1-7. To date no direct receptor-mediated effects of Ang1-9 have been described. To further understand the role of Ang1-9 in RAS function we assessed its action in cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in rat neonatal H9c2 and primary adult rabbit left ventricular cardiomyocytes, compared to Ang1-7. Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy was stimulated with AngII or vasopressin, significantly increasing cell size by approximately 1.2-fold (P < 0.05) as well as stimulating expression of the hypertrophy gene markers atrial natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide, β-myosin heavy chain and myosin light chain (2- to 5-fold, P < 0.05). Both Ang1-9 and Ang1-7 were able to block hypertrophy induced by either agonist (control, 186.4 μm; AngII, 232.8 μm; AngII+Ang1-7, 198.3 μm; AngII+Ang1-9, 195.9 μm; P < 0.05). The effects of Ang1-9 were not inhibited by captopril, supporting previous evidence that Ang1-9 acts independently of Ang1-7. Next, we investigated receptor signalling via angiotensin type 1 and type 2 receptors (AT1R, AT2R) and Mas. The AT1R antagonist losartan blocked AngII-induced, but not vasopressin-induced, hypertrophy. Losartan did not block the antihypertrophic effects of Ang1-9, or Ang1-7 on vasopressin-stimulated cardiomyocytes. The Mas antagonist A779 efficiently blocked the antihypertrophic effects of Ang1-7, without affecting Ang1-9. Furthermore, Ang1-7 activity was also inhibited in the presence of the bradykinin type 2 receptor antagonist HOE140, without affecting Ang1-9. Moreover, we observed that the AT2R antagonist PD123,319 abolished the antihypertrophic effects of Ang1-9, without affecting Ang1-7, suggesting Ang1-9 signals via the AT2R. Radioligand binding assays demonstrated that Ang1-9 was able to bind the AT2R (pKi = 6.28 ± 0.1). In summary, we ascribe a direct biological role for Ang1-9 acting via the AT2R. This has implications for RAS function and identifying new therapeutic targets in cardiovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin I / pharmacology
  • Angiotensin I / physiology*
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology
  • Angiotensin II / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2 / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2
  • Angiotensin II
  • Angiotensin I