Renin uptake by the endothelium mediates vascular angiotensin formation


  • K.F. Hilgers
  • R. Veelken
  • D.N. Mueller
  • H. Kohler
  • A. Hartner
  • S.R. Botkin
  • C. Stumpf
  • R.E. Schmieder
  • R.A. Gomez


  • Hypertension


  • Hypertension 38: 243-248


  • We investigated the role of the vascular endothelium in the local production of angiotensin. Angiotensin release from isolated rat hindquarters perfused with an artificial medium was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay. Perfused hindquarters with endothelium released angiotensin I spontaneously, indicating ongoing renin-angiotensinogen reaction. Endothelium denudation (by a detergent, validated by electron microscopy and by the absence of a vasodilator response to acetylcholine) reduced angiotensin I release by >90%, whereas bilateral nephrectomy 24 hours before perfusion abolished the release completely. Infusion of renin into perfused hindquarters induced sustained local angiotensin I release in the presence of an intact endothelium but not after endothelium denudation. The conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II was abrogated by endothelium denudation, whereas the disappearance of angiotensin II was unchanged. Endothelium denudation diminished the pressor response to angiotensin II but abolished the response to renin and angiotensin I. Expression of renin messenger RNA, investigated by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction using 4 different primer combinations, was not detected in up to 5 {mu}g vascular RNA, whereas a renin signal was readily detected with 5 ng kidney RNA. The effects of endothelium destruction on Ang I formation support the notion that the endothelium mediates vascular angiotensin formation by taking up renin.