Manipulation of components of the renin angiotensin system in renal proximal tubules fails to alter atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice

Masayoshi Kukida, Naofumi Amioka, Dien Ye, Hui Chen, Jessica J. Moorleghen, Ching Ling Liang, Deborah A. Howatt, Yuriko Katsumata, Motoko Yanagita, Hisashi Sawada, Alan Daugherty, Hong Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objective: Whole body manipulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) consistently exerts profound effects on experimental atherosclerosis development. A deficit in the literature has been a lack of attention to the effects of sex. Also, based on data with gene-deleted mice, the site of RAS activity that influences lesion formation is at an unknown distant location. Since angiotensin (AngII) concentrations are high in kidney and the major components of the RAS are present in renal proximal tubule cells (PTCs), this study evaluated the role of the RAS in PTCs in atherosclerosis development. Methods and results: Mice with an LDL receptor −/− background were fed Western diet to induce hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. We first demonstrated the role of AT1 receptor antagonism on atherosclerosis in both sexes. Losartan, an AngII type 1 (AT1) receptor blocker, had greater blood pressure-lowering effects in females than males, but equivalent effects between sexes in reducing atherosclerotic lesion size. To determine the roles of renal AT1a receptor and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), either component was deleted in PTCs after weaning using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre expressed under the control of an Ndrg1 promoter. Despite profound deletion of AT1a receptor or ACE in PTCs, the absence of either protein did not influence development of atherosclerosis in either sex. Conversely, mice expressing human angiotensinogen and renin in PTCs or expressing human angiotensinogen in liver but human renin in PTCs did not change atherosclerotic lesion size in male mice. Conclusion: Whole-body AT1R inhibition reduced atherosclerosis equivalently in both male and female mice; however, PTC-specific manipulation of the RAS components had no effects on hypercholesterolemia-induced atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250234
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research work was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01HL139748. The content in this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Acknowledgments

Publisher Copyright:
2023 Kukida, Amioka, Ye, Chen, Moorleghen, Liang, Howatt, Katsumata, Yanagita, Sawada, Daugherty and Lu.


  • angiotensin
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme
  • angiotensinogen
  • AT1 receptor
  • atherosclerosis
  • kidney
  • proximal tubules
  • renin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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