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Edaravone inhibits pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction by reducing expression of angiotensin II AT1 receptor

Authors Zhang WW, Bai F, Wang J, Zheng RH, Yang LW, James EA, Zhao ZQ

Received 25 June 2017

Accepted for publication 17 August 2017

Published 16 October 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 3019—3033


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Qiongyu Guo

Wei-Wei Zhang,1,2 Feng Bai,1 Jin Wang,1 Rong-Hua Zheng,1 Li-Wang Yang,1 Erskine A James,3 Zhi-Qing Zhao1,4

1Department of Physiology, Shanxi Medical University, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Shanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China; 3Department of Internal Medicine, Navicent Health, Macon, 4Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Mercer University School of Medicine, Savannah, GA, USA

Abstract: Angiotensin II (Ang II) is known to be involved in the progression of ventricular dysfunction and heart failure by eliciting cardiac fibrosis. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate whether treatment with an antioxidant compound, edaravone, reduces cardiac fibrosis and improves ventricular function by inhibiting Ang II AT1 receptor. The study was conducted in a rat model of transverse aortic constriction (TAC). In control, rats were subjected to 8 weeks of TAC. In treated rats, edaravone (10 mg/kg/day) or Ang II AT1 receptor blocker, telmisartan (10 mg/kg/day) was administered by intraperitoneal injection or gastric gavage, respectively, during TAC. Relative to the animals with TAC, edaravone reduced myocardial malonaldehyde level and increased superoxide dismutase activity. Protein level of the AT1 receptor was reduced and the AT2 receptor was upregulated, as evidenced by the reduced ratio of AT1 over AT2 receptor (0.57±0.2 vs 3.16±0.39, p<0.05) and less locally expressed AT1 receptor in the myocardium. Furthermore, the protein level of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 was upregulated. In coincidence with these changes, edaravone significantly decreased the populations of macrophages and myofibroblasts in the myocardium, which were accompanied by reduced levels of transforming growth factor beta 1 and Smad2/3. Collagen I synthesis was inhibited and collagen-rich fibrosis was attenuated. Relative to the TAC group, cardiac systolic function was preserved, as shown by increased left ventricular systolic pressure (204±51 vs 110±19 mmHg, p<0.05) and ejection fraction (82%±3% vs 60%±5%, p<0.05). Treatment with telmisartan provided a comparable level of protection as compared with edaravone in all the parameters measured. Taken together, edaravone treatment ameliorates cardiac fibrosis and improves left ventricular function in the pressure overload rat model, potentially via suppressing the AT1 receptor-mediated signaling pathways. These data indicate that edaravone might be selected in combination with other existing drugs in preventing progression of cardiac dysfunction in heart failure.

Keywords: angiotensin II receptor, cardiac fibrosis, cardiac function, edaravone, heart failure

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