A study was undertaken to determine how variations in chronic pressure overload imposed on the left ventricle (LV) regulate both its mass and the relative level of expression of the slow beta-myosin heavy chain (MHC) in rodents. Systemic mean arterial pressure was varied by the following interventions: 1) abdominal aortic constriction (AbCon), 2) unilateral nephrectomy coupled with salt and deoxycorticoacetate treatment (Nx-D), and 3) treatment with the angiotensin II-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril (50 mg.kg-1.day-1) in combination with the other interventions. Results showed that both AbCon and Nx-D induced significant elevations in both beta-MHC protein and mRNA expression relative to the control state. beta-MHC expression (protein and mRNA) strongly correlated with blood pressure as well as LV mass over a wide range. Although captopril treatment significantly reversed the elevations in mean arterial pressure, LV mass, and beta-MHC content in the AbCon group, it had very little effect on these variables in the Nx-D group. Collectively, the results demonstrate that the expression of beta-MHC in the rodent heart is strongly dependent on the arterial pressure imposed on LV. Although the underlying mechanisms have not been elucidated fully as to how alterations in blood pressure are translated to the regulation of the beta-MHC gene expression, these findings suggest that the renin-angiotensin system is not an obligatory factor for inducing cardiac hypertrophy or beta-MHC expression in some models of hypertension.
- Copyright © 1995 the American Physiological Society