Hepatic angiotensin II nuclear receptors and transcription of growth-related factors

J Hypertens. 1996 Aug;14(8):961-8.


Objectives: To investigate the influence of angiotensin II (All) receptors in isolated hepatic nuclei on other genes regulated by All and to determine whether the function of these intracellular receptors is influenced by alterations in the endocrine renin system.

Methods: Nuclei were isolated from hepatic tissue of normal and bilaterally nephrectomized or adrenalectomized Wistar rats. Following nuclear run-off, in the presence of varying All concentrations, specific messenger RNAs (mRNA) were determined by slot blot hybridization. Tissue levels of renin system components were measured by radioimmunoassay and nuclear receptors characterized by displacement of radiolabeled All with specific All receptor antagonists.

Results: All binding in the presence of DUP 753 and PD 123177 confirmed that nuclear All receptors can be classified as AT1 receptors and that as much as 10% of the specific binding is attributable to nuclear chromatin. All stimulated not only the production of mRNA for renin system components such as renin and angiotensinogen, but also that of mRNA for growth-related factors such as platelet-derived growth factor and the oncogene c-myc. Maximal stimulation occurred at 10(-9) mol/l All; higher concentrations reduced this response. After stimulation or suppression of the plasma renin system by adrenalectomy or bilateral nephrectomy, nuclei isolated from rat hepatic tissue contained elevated endogenous levels of growth-related and renin system mRNA including AT1 and AT2 All receptors. However, despite the level of receptor mRNA having been elevated, the total All receptor density of isolated nuclei decreased. In addition, after both maneuvers, isolated nuclei were refractory to All-induced gene transcription.

Conclusion: The existence of mechanisms producing intracellular All and regulating its level, which in turn exert local regulatory responses via nuclear All receptors, lends significance to the presence of a functional intracrine renin system that could act in concert with or independently of the endocrine renin system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Growth Substances / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / analysis*
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Growth Substances
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Angiotensin
  • Angiotensin II