Aim: Recent findings have suggested that a therapeutic approach to amplify or stimulate the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 [ACE-2]-angiotensin 1-7 [ANG 1-7] mas axis could provide protection against the development of cardiovascular diseases. We investigated the cardioprotective effects of telmisartan in rats with dilated cardiomyopathy [DCM] after experimental autoimmune myocarditis [EAM].
Main methods: DCM was elicited in Lewis rats by immunization with cardiac myosin, and twenty-eight days after immunization, the surviving Lewis rats were divided into two groups and treated with either telmisartan (10mg/kg/day) or vehicle.
Key findings: Telmisartan treatment effectively suppressed myocardial protein and mRNA expressions of inflammatory markers [CD68, iNOS, NF-kB, interleukin-1β, interferon-γ, monocyte chemotactic protein-1] in comparison to vehicle-treated rats. In contrast, myocardial protein levels of ACE-2 and ANG 1-7 mas receptor were upregulated in the telmisartan-treated group compared with vehicle-treated rats. Telmisartan treatment significantly reduced fibrosis and hypertrophy and their marker molecules [OPN, CTGF, TGF-β1 and collagens I and III and atrial natriuretic peptide and GATA-4, respectively] compared with those of vehicle-treated rats. In addition, telmisartan treatment significantly lowered the protein expressions of NADPH oxidase subunits p47phox, p67phox, and superoxide production when compared with vehicle-treated rats. Telmisartan treatment significantly decreased the expression levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling molecules than with those of vehicle-treated rats. Also, telmisartan treatment significantly improved LV systolic and diastolic function.
Significance: These results indicate that telmisartan treatment significantly improved LV function and ameliorated the progression of cardiac remodeling through the modulation of ACE-2/ANG 1-7/Mas receptor axis in rats with DCM after EAM.
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