Differential expression and DNA methylation of angiotensin type 1A receptors in vascular tissues during genetic hypertension development

Mol Cell Biochem. 2015 Apr;402(1-2):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s11010-014-2295-9. Epub 2015 Jan 18.


Angiotensin type 1a receptor (AT1aR) is thought to play an important role in the development of hypertension. However, it is unknown how the AT1aR expression in vascular tissue is changed during the development of hypertension or if the degree of methylation in the AT1aR promoter correlates with the expression of AT1aR. To address these questions, we measured AT1aR mRNA, protein expression, and methylation status of the AT1aR promoter in the aorta and mesenteric artery of male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and age-matched Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats acting as controls at pre-hypertensive (4 weeks), evolving (10 weeks), and established (20 weeks) stages of hypertension. The expression of the AT1aR mRNA and protein was not different between the SHRs and WKY rats at 4 weeks. However, they were significantly greater in SHRs than in WKY rats at 20 weeks. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the AT1aR promoter from the aorta and mesenteric artery of the SHRs was progressively hypo-methylated with age as compared with their WKY rat counterparts. These results suggest that the heightened AT1aR expression in SHRs is related to the AT1aR promoter hypo-methylation, which might be a consequence of the increased blood pressure and may be important in the maintenance of high blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mesenteric Arteries / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism


  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1