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30 January 2013 Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Angiotensin II Production in Rat Lung
Haijun Gao, Uma Yallampalli, Chandra Yallampalli
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Gestational protein restriction (PR) alters the renin-angiotensin system in uterine arteries and placentas and elevates plasma levels of angiotensin II in pregnant rats. To date, how PR increases maternal plasma levels of angiotensin II remains unknown. In this study, we hypothesize that the expression and/or the activity of angiotensin I converting enzyme (peptidyl-dipeptidase A) 1 (ACE) in lungs, but not kidneys and blood, largely contribute to elevated plasma angiotensin II levels in pregnant rats subject to gestational PR. Time-scheduled pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a normal or low-protein diet from Day 3 of pregnancy until euthanized at Day 19 or 22. Expressions of Ace and Ace2 (angiotens in I converting enzyme [peptidyl-dipeptidase A] 2) in lungs and kidneys from pregnant rats by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting, and the activities of these proteins in lungs, kidneys, and plasma, were measured. The mRNA levels of Ace and Ace2 in lungs were elevated by PR at both Days 19 and 22 of pregnancy. The abundance of ACE protein in lungs was increased, but ACE2 protein was decreased, by PR. The activities of ACE, but not ACE2, in lungs were increased by PR. PR did not change expressions of Ace and Ace2, the activities of both ACE and ACE2 in kidneys, and the abundance and activity of plasma ACE. These findings suggest that maternal lungs contribute to the elevated plasma levels of angiotensin II by increasing both the expression and the activity of ACE in response to gestational PR.

Haijun Gao, Uma Yallampalli, and Chandra Yallampalli "Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Angiotensin II Production in Rat Lung," Biology of Reproduction 88(3), (30 January 2013).
Received: 2 August 2012; Accepted: 1 January 2013; Published: 30 January 2013

angiotensin I converting enzyme
Angiotensin II
gestational protein restriction
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