Novel sites of expression of functional angiotensin II receptors in the late gestation fetus

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Science  16 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4910, pp. 1340-1342
DOI: 10.1126/science.2734613


In the adult, the peptide hormone angiotensin II (AII) is primarily known as a regulator of circulatory homeostasis, but recent evidence also suggests a role in cell growth. This study of AII in late gestation rat fetuses revealed the unexpected presence of receptors in skeletal muscle and connective tissue, in addition to those in recognized adult target tissues. The AII receptors in this novel location decreased by 80 percent 1 day after birth and were almost undetectable in the adult. Studies in fetal skin fibroblasts showed that the receptors were coupled to phospholipid breakdown, with concomitant increases in inositol phosphate and cytosolic calcium. The abundance, timing of expression, and unique localization of functional AII receptors in the fetus suggest a role for AII in fetal development.

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