Open Access Research article

Signaling of angiotensin II-induced vascular protein synthesis in conduit and resistance arteries in vivo

Christine Daigle1, Fabrice MAC Martens1, Daphné Girardot1, Huy Hao Dao1, Rhian M Touyz2 and Pierre Moreau1*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal, PO Box 6128, Station centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7 Canada

2 Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal, 110 ave des Pins ouest,Montréal, Québec, H2W 1R7 Canada

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2004, 4:6  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-4-6

Published: 10 May 2004



From in vitro studies, it has become clear that several signaling cascades are involved in angiotensin II-induced cellular hypertrophy. The aim of the present study was to determine some of the signaling pathways mediating angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced protein synthesis in vivo in large and small arteries.


Newly synthesized proteins were labeled during 4 hours with tritiated leucine in conscious control animals, or animals infused for 24 hours with angiotensin II (400 ng/kg/min). Hemodynamic parameters were measure simultaneously. Pharmacological agents affecting signaling cascades were injected 5 hours before the end of Ang II infusion.


Angiotensin II nearly doubled the protein synthesis rate in the aorta and small mesenteric arteries, without affecting arterial pressure. The AT1 receptor antagonist Irbesartan antagonized the actions of Ang II. The Ang II-induced protein synthesis was associated with increased extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation in aortic, but not in mesenteric vessels. Systemic administration of PD98059, an inhibitor of the ERK-1/2 pathway, produced a significant reduction of protein synthesis rate in the aorta, and only a modest decrease in mesenteric arteries. Rapamycin, which influences protein synthesis by alternative signaling, had a significant effect in both vessel types. Rapamycin and PD98059 did not alter basal protein synthesis and had minimal effects on arterial pressure.


ERK1/2 and rapamycin-sensitive pathways are involved in pressure-independent angiotensin II-induced vascular protein synthesis in vivo. However, their relative contribution may vary depending on the nature of the artery under investigation.

Remodeling; Resistance arteries; Conduit arteries; Rapamycin; ERK-1/2