Regulation of angiotensin II receptors and extracellular matrix turnover in human retinal pigment epithelium: Role of angiotensin II

Gary E. Striker, Francoiçe Praddaude, Oscar Alcazar, Scott W. Cousins, Maria E. Marin-Castaño

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The early stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by the formation of subretinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deposits as a result of the dysregulation in the turnover of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. However, the mechanism involved remains unclear. Hypertension (HTN) is an important risk factor for AMD, and angiotensin II (ANG II) is the most important hormone associated with HTN. However, the relevance of ANG II receptors and ANG II effects on RPE have not been investigated yet. Therefore, the expression and regulation of ANG II receptors as well as the ECM turnover were studied in human RPE. ANG II receptors were expressed and upregulated by ANG II in human RPE. This regulation resulted in functional receptor expression, since an increase in intracellular concentration of calcium was observed upon ANG II stimulation. ANG II also increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 activity and MMP-14 at the mRNA and protein levels as well as type IV collagen degradation. These ANG II effects were abolished in the presence of the ANG II receptor subtype 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist candesartan. In contrast, ANG II decreased type IV collagen via both AT1 and AT2 receptors, suggesting a synergistic effect of the two receptor subtypes. In conclusion, we have confirmed the presence of ANG II receptors in human RPE and their regulation by ANG II as well as the regulation of ECM molecules via ANG II receptors. Our data support the hypothesis that ANG II may exert biological function in RPE through ANG II receptors and that ANG II may cause dysregulation of molecules that play a major role in the turnover of ECM in RPE basement membrane and Bruch's membrane, suggesting a pathogenic mechanism to explain the link between HTN and AMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1633-C1646
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Bruch's membrane
  • Calcium
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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