Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology

, Volume 464, Issue 5, pp 535–547 | Cite as

On the different roles of AT1 and AT2 receptors in stretch-induced changes of connexin43 expression and localisation

  • Aida SalamehEmail author
  • Daniel Apel
  • Jorge Gonzalez Casanova
  • Sandy von Salisch
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm Mohr
  • Ingo Daehnert
  • Stefan Dhein
Signaling and Cell Physiology


Cyclic mechanical stretch (CMS) and angiotensin II (ATII) play an important role in cardiac remodelling. Thus, we aimed to examine how ATII affects CMS-induced changes in localisation and expression of the gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43). Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes cultured on gelatin-coated Flexcell cell culture plates were kept static or were exposed to CMS (110 % of resting length, 1 Hz) for 24 h with or without additional ATII (0.1 μmol/L). Moreover, inhibitors of ATII receptors (AT-R) were used (for AT1-R: losartan 0.1 μmol/L, for AT2-R: PD123177 0.1 μmol/L). Thereafter, the cardiomyocytes were investigated by immunohistology, PCR and Western blot. After 24 h of CMS, cardiomyocytes were significantly elongated and orientated 75 ± 1.6° nearly perpendicular to the stretch axis. Furthermore, CMS significantly accentuated Cx43 at the cell poles (ratio Cx43 polar/lateral static: 2.32 ± 0.17; CMS: 10.08 ± 3.2). Additional ATII application significantly reduced Cx43 polarisation (ratio Cx43 polar/lateral ATII: 4.61 ± 0.42). The combined administration of ATII and losartan to CMS further reduced Cx43 polarisation to control levels, whilst the AT2-R blocker PD123177 restored polarisation. Moreover, CMS and ATII application resulted in a significant Cx43 protein and Cx43 mRNA up-regulation which could be blocked by losartan but not by PD123177. Thus, CMS results in a self-organisation of the cardiomyocytes leading to elongated cells orientated transversely towards the stretch axis with enhanced Cx43 expression and Cx43 accentuation at the cell poles. ATII enhances total Cx43 mRNA and protein expression probably via AT1-R (=inhibitory effect of losartan) and reduces Cx43 polarisation presumably via AT2-R, since PD123177 (but not losartan) inhibited the negative effects of ATII on polarisation.


Stretch Angiotensin II Cx43 Angiotensin receptors 



Angiotensin II


Angiotensin receptor type 1


Angiotensin receptor type 2




Threshold cycle


Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (=p42/44)


Focal adhesion kinase


Polymerase chain reaction


Zonula occludens protein 1



This study was supported by a grant given by ProCordis (Leipzig, Germany) given to S.D.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aida Salameh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Apel
    • 2
  • Jorge Gonzalez Casanova
    • 1
  • Sandy von Salisch
    • 2
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm Mohr
    • 2
  • Ingo Daehnert
    • 1
  • Stefan Dhein
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinic for Paediatric CardiologyUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Clinic for Cardiac SurgeryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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