Angiotensin II increases the permeability and PV-1 expression of endothelial cells

Csaba Bodor, János Péter Nagy, Borbála Végh, Adrienn Németh, Attila Jenei, Shahrokh Mirzahosseini, Attila Sebe, László Rosivall

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Angiotensin II (ANG II), the major effector molecule of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), is a powerful vasoactive mediator associated with hypertension and renal failure. In this study the permeability changes and its morphological attributes in endothelial cells of human umbilical vein (HUVECs) were studied considering the potential regulatory role of ANG II. The effects of ANG II were compared with those of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Permeability was determined by 40 kDa FITC-Dextran and electrical impedance measurements. Plasmalemmal vesicle-1 (PV-1) mRNA levels were measured by PCR. Endothelial cell surface was studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM), and caveolae were visualized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in HUVEC monolayers. ANG II (10 -7 M), similarly to VEGF (100 ng/ml), increased the endothelial permeability parallel with an increase in the number of cell surface openings and caveolae. AT1 and VEGF-R2 receptor blockers (candesartan and ZM-323881, respectively) blunted these effects. ANG II and VEGF increased the expression of PV-1, which could be blocked by candesartan or ZM-323881 pretreatments and by the p38 mitogem-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitor SB-203580. Additionally, SB-203580 blocked the increase in endothelial permeability and the number of surface openings and caveolae. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that ANG II plays a role in regulation of permeability and formation of cell surface openings through AT1 receptor and PV-1 protein synthesis in a p38 MAP kinase-dependent manner in endothelial cells. The surface openings that increase in parallel with permeability may represent transcellular channels, caveolae, or both. These morphological and permeability changes may be involved in (patho-) physiological effects of ANG II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C267-C276
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012



  • P38
  • Renin-angiotensin system
  • Vascular endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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