In humans, the insertion/deletion polymorphism in the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene accounts for half of the variance in plasma ACE activity. The deletion allele is associated with high plasma ACE activity, cardiovascular disease, and renal disease. In rat, a similar association is found between the B and L alleles of a microsatellite marker in the ACE gene. We identified the B/L variation in the Wistar outbred rat and bred two lines homozygous for the two alleles (WU-B and WU-L). ACE activity was measured in serum, heart, kidney, and aorta homogenates. Immunohistochemistry and ACE mRNA expression were performed in heart, kidney, and aortic tissue. Aortic rings were collected and stimulated with AngI, AngII, and AngI with Lisinopril to measure ACE functional activity by vasoconstrictor response. Serum, heart, and kidney ACE activity and kidney mRNA expression were two-fold higher in WU-B. Kidney staining showed a clear difference in tubular ACE expression, with more staining in WU-B. While in aorta ACE activity and mRNA expression was twofold higher in WU-L, functional conversion of AngI was higher in WU-B, indicating either a functional difference in AngI to AngII conversion between the two alleles due to different splicing or the presence of other factors involved in the conversion that are differentially expressed as the result of differences in the ACE alleles. The newly developed WU-B and WU-L lines show tissue-specific differences in ACE expression and activity. This provides an experimental tool to study the pathophysiologic consequences of differences in ACE alleles in renal and cardiovascular disease.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 3, 2009
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