Background: To evaluate the effect of supraphysiological levels of angiotensin II and selective angiotensin II type 1 receptor ( AT1-receptor) blockade on neointimal formation and systemic endothelial function after stent implantation in the rat abdominal aorta.
Methods: Male Wistar rats were randomized to one of three groups; control (n = 8), angiotensin II infusion (n = 9, 200 ng/kg/min), or candesartan cilexetil (n = 8, AT1-receptor blocker; rats received 14.4 mg kg(-1) day(-1)). Stents were implanted in the abdominal aorta. Histological analyses were performed at 4 weeks. Endothelial function was determined in isolated thoracic aortic rings.
Results: Neointimal area was increased in the angiotensin II treated group versus the control group, 0.88 mm(2) +/- 0.21 versus 0.66 mm(2) +/- 0.16 (P <0.05). Neointimal thickness was 171 mu m +/- 44 in angiotensin II treated animals and 120 mu m +/- 25 in the control group (P <0.05). In addition, endothelial function was attenuated in angiotensin II treated animals (P = 0.01). Candesartan cilexetil treatment did not result in reduction of neointimal area and did not reduce neointimal thickness compared to the control group. Candesartan had no effect on endothelial function.
Conclusions: Supraphysiological levels of angiotensin II aggravates neointimal formation in the stented rat abdominal aorta, and in parallel decreases endothelial function. AT1-receptor blockade does not reduce neointimal formation in rats without supraphysiological angiotensin II levels. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.