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High blood pressure in transgenic mice carrying the rat angiotensinogen gene.

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Abstract

Transgenic mice were generated by injecting the entire rat angiotensinogen gene into the germline of NMRI mice. The resulting transgenic animals were characterized with respect to hemodynamics, parameters of the renin angiotension system, and expression of the transgene. The transgenic line TGM(rAOGEN)123 developed hypertension with a mean arterial blood pressure of 158 mmHg in males and 132 mmHg in females. In contrast, the transgenic line TGM(rAOGEN)92 was not hypertensive. Rat angiotensinogen was detectable only in plasma of animals of line 123. Total plasma angiotensinogen and plasma angiotensin II concentrations were about three times as high as those of negative control mice. In TGM(rAOGEN)123 the transgene was highly expressed in liver and brain. Transcripts were also detected in heart, kidney and testis. In TGM(rAOGEN)92 the brain was the main expressing organ. In situ hybridization revealed an mRNA distribution in the brain of TGM(rAOGEN)123 similar to the one in rat. In TGM(rAOGEN)92 the expression pattern in the brain was aberrant. These data indicate that overexpression of the angiotensinogen gene in liver and brain leads to the development of hypertension in transgenic mice. The TGM(rAOGEN)123 constitutes a high angiotensin II type of hypertension and may provide a new experimental animal model to study the kinetics and function of the renin angiotensin system.

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