Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Medicine

Department

Toxicology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Daugherty

Abstract

The renin angiotensin system (RAS) exerts many diverse physiological functions throughout the body, mediated by its effector peptide, angiotensin II (AngII). AngII has been linked with a variety of different functions ranging from the initiation of severe vascular pathologies, such as atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), to mundane physiological processes of fluid homeostasis, vascular contraction, and regulation of blood pressure. To provide a potential link between these functions, an in-depth analysis of regional effects of AngII on aortic vasculature was performed.

The studies presented in this dissertation tested the overall hypothesis of whether regional changes exist in the vasculature in response to angiotensin II (AngII). We first infused AngII into C57BL/6 animals and studied the aortic morphology in detail. On first glance, we detected a thickening throughout the aorta, with no overt changes from region to region. However, upon further analysis, it was demonstrated that there was a region-specific aortic arch hyperplasia, versus the hypertrophy in the remainder of the aorta. Through a series of experiments, this hyperplasia was linked to the redox-mediated protein Id3. Further analysis of the vasculature demonstrated AngII exerted aortic contractions which were limited to the infrarenal aorta. These contractions were mediated by the AT1b receptor subtype in the RAS. We also demonstrate that AngII leads to suprarenal specific formation of AAA, which can be attenuated by the deletion of specific innate immune mediator proteins, such as MyD88 and TLR4. Overall, these data suggest many region-specific roles for AngII in the aortic vasculature and provide many novel findings as to the cause of these effects.

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