BACKGROUND: Angiotensin (Ang) II type 2 (AT2) receptor stimulation results in coronary vasodilation in the rat heart. In contrast, AT2 receptor-mediated vasodilation could not be observed in large human coronary arteries. We studied Ang II-induced vasodilation of human coronary microarteries (HCMAs).
METHODS AND RESULTS: HCMAs (diameter, 160 to 500 microm) were obtained from 49 heart valve donors (age, 3 to 65 years). Ang II constricted HCMAs, mounted in Mulvany myographs, in a concentration-dependent manner (pEC50, 8.6+/-0.2; maximal effect [E(max)], 79+/-13% of the contraction to 100 mmol/L K+). The Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist irbesartan prevented this vasoconstriction, whereas the AT2 receptor antagonist PD123319 increased E(max) to 97+/-14% (P
CONCLUSIONS: AT2 receptor-mediated vasodilation in the human heart appears to be limited to coronary microarteries and is mediated by B2 receptors and NO. Most likely, AT2 receptors are located on endothelial cells, and their contribution increases with age.
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