Upregulation of angiotensin (1-7)-mediated signaling preserves endothelial function through reducing oxidative stress in diabetes

Yang Zhang, Jian Liu, Jiang Yun Luo, Xiao Yu Tian, Wai San Cheang, Jian Xu, Chi Wai Lau, Li Wang, Wing Tak Wong, Chi Ming Wong, Hui Yao Lan, Xiaoqiang Yao, Mohan K. Raizada, Yu Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Aims: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-angiotensin (1-7) [Ang (1-7)]-Mas constitutes the vasoprotective axis and is demonstrated to antagonize the vascular pathophysiological effects of the classical renin-angiotensin system. We sought to study the hypothesis that upregulation of ACE2-Ang (1-7) signaling protects endothelial function through reducing oxidative stress that would result in beneficial outcome in diabetes. Results: Ex vivo treatment with Ang (1-7) enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation (EDR) in renal arteries from diabetic patients. Both Ang (1-7) infusion via osmotic pump (500ng/kg/min) for 2 weeks and exogenous ACE2 overexpression mediated by adenoviral ACE2 via tail vein injection (109 pfu/mouse) rescued the impaired EDR and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) in db/db mice. Diminazene aceturate treatment (15mg/kg/day) activated ACE2, increased the circulating Ang (1-7) level, and augmented EDR and FMD in db/db mouse arteries. In addition, activation of the ACE2-Ang (1-7) axis reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction determined by dihydroethidium staining, CM-H2DCFDA fluorescence imaging, and chemiluminescence assay in db/db mouse aortas and also in high-glucose-treated endothelial cells. Pharmacological benefits of ACE2-Ang (1-7) upregulation on endothelial function were confirmed in ACE2 knockout (ACE2 KO) mice both ex vivo and in vitro. Innovation: We elucidate that the ACE2-Ang (1-7)-Mas axis serves as an important signal pathway in endothelial cell protection in diabetic mice, especially in diabetic human arteries. Conclusion: Endogenous ACE2-Ang (1-7) activation or ACE2 overexpression preserves endothelial function in diabetic mice through increasing nitric oxide bioavailability and inhibiting oxidative stress, suggesting the therapeutic potential of ACE2-Ang(1-7) axis activation against diabetic vasculopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-892
Number of pages13
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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