Angiotensin II receptor type 1 mRNA is upregulated in atria of patients with end-stage heart failure

Raffi R. Kaprielian*, Emmanuel Dupont, Sassan Hafizi, Philip A. Poole-Wilson, Asghar Khaghani, Magdi H. Yacoub, Nicholas J. Severs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing evidence that pathological changes in the myocardium during chronic heart failure (CHF) are partly regulated through the activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), an effect mediated by the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R). We examined the expression of cardiac AT1R mRNA in normal (atria, n = 7; ventricle, n = 3) and end-stage CHF human hearts (atria, n = 8: ventricle, n = 14). Tissue was snap-frozen immediately after explantation during orthotopic cardiac transplantation; control specimens were obtained from healthy donor hearts rejected for technical reasons. Northern blots of purified total mRNA from each tissue were hybridized with a random primed radiolabeled probe for the coding sequence of AT1R. Stringent conditions were used for both hybridization (5X SSC, 65°C) and washing (0.5X SSC, 0.1% SDS, 65°C) of the membrane. Left and right atrial tissue showed low levels of AT1R mRNA expression in the controls, with statistically significant upregulation of expression in tissue from pathological hearts; CHF atria 1.28 ± 0.86 optical density (OD) units, control atria 0.56 ± 0.31 OD units. P = 0.05 (mean ± S.D.). There were undetectable levels in ventricles from either control (2/2) or dilated hearts (7/7). The results were independent of the etiology of the heart failure and suggest that increased levels of atrial AT1R mRNA may occur in response to elevated atrial pressures in heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Angiotensin II receptor
  • Heart failure
  • Myocardium


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