Indexed on: 01 Mar '94Published on: 01 Mar '94Published in: Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Extrahepatic synthesis and localization of angiotensinogen (ATN) have been described in animals, thus establishing the tissue renin-angiotensin (RA) system. However, there had been no reports of tissue RA systems in human organs, including the heart. In earlier, we have reported the possibility of ATN synthesis in the human heart using ribonuclease protection assay system. ATN mRNA was detected not only in the liver, but also in both the atrial and ventricular heart tissues, suggesting that ATN is synthesized in the human heart. In this report, we looked for the distribution of ATN in diseased human heart.Northern blot hybridization of cDNA with total RNA extracted from human liver, brain, kidney, atrial and ventricular tissues revealed that ATN mRNA exists in cardiac ventricule.Immunohistochemical studies using a specific antibody to ATN revealed a stronger reaction in the endocardial layer of the human left ventricle, than in the epicardial layer, and intense immunoreactivity in the conduction system and right atrium. This distribution pattern was similar to that of human atrial natriuretic peptide (hANP), which functions a smooth muscle relaxant. Double immunostaining of ATN and hANP demonstrated that all myocytes in the right atrium had immunopositive reactions to ATN, hANP or both of ATN and hANP. Double immunoelectron staining enabled us to show more detailed localization of ATN and hANP; hANP only existed in the specific granules and ATN existed in the myofibril, but not in the granule. Furthermore, our experiments provide evidence of ATN in healthy human hearts and also reveal a widespread immunopositive reaction for ATN in the left ventricle of diseased hearts.