Abstract 15630: Direct Renin Inhibition With Aliskiren Improves Ischemia-Induced Neovascularization
Background: The activation of the renin-angiotensin system is associated with impaired formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization) in response to ischemia. Aliskiren is the only direct renin inhibitor that is clinically used as an orally active antihypertensive drug. Here we tested the hypothesis that aliskiren might improve neovascularization following ischemia.
Methods and Results: C57BL/6 mice were treated with a high dose of aliskiren (50 mg/kg), a low dose of aliskiren (10 mg/kg), or drinking water only. After two weeks of treatment, hindlimb ischemia was surgically induced by femoral artery removal. Treatment with aliskiren led to a significantly faster rate of blood flow recovery after hindlimb ischemia (Laser Doppler). Interestingly the lower dose of aliskiren, which did not reduce blood pressure, provided similar improvement of blood flow recuperation compared to the higher dose of aliskiren. At day 21 after surgery, Doppler flow ratios were significantly improved in mice treated with aliskiren (0.69+/-0.07 vs. 0.52+/-0.03; p<0.05). This was associated with an increased expression of angiogenic factors in ischemic muscles, including VEGF and eNOS. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) have been shown to have an important role in postnatal neovascularisation. We found that aliskiren significantly increased the number of bone marrow EPCs at day 7 after ischemia (172+/-7% increase; p<0.05). Moreover, the adhesive properties of EPCs were significantly improved in mice treated with aliskiren (175+/-5% increase; p<0.05). In vitro, aliskiren improves cellular migration and tubule formation in HUVECs. This is associated with an increased expression of nitric oxide (DAF staining), and a significant reduction of oxidative stress levels (DHE staining). Importantly, the antioxidant and angiogenic properties of aliskiren in HUVECs are abolished following treatment with the NOS inhibitor L-NAME.
Conclusions: Direct renin inhibition with aliskiren leads to improved ischemia-induced neovascularization that is not dependant on blood pressure lowering. The mechanisms involve beneficial effects of aliskiren on NO and angiogenic pathways in ischemic tissues, together with an increase in the number and the functional activity of EPCs.
Author Disclosures: M. Desjarlais: None. S. Dussault: None. W. Dhahri: None. A. Rivard: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.