Augmented intrarenal angiotensinogen (AGT) is a critical contributor to the activation of intrarenal renin- angiotensin system (RAS) which leads to the development of hypertension and associated tissue injury. Therefore, elucidating mechanisms underlying AGT upregulation is essential for the development of strategies to treat these diseases. Chronic Ang II elevation induces increased immune cell infiltration in the kidneys contributing to increase in intrarenal cytokine levels specifically interleukin 6 (IL-6). Notably, IL-6 is required for Ang II-induced AGT augmentation in renal proximal tubular cells (PTC). However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these complex interactions leading to AGT augmentation have not been delineated. Renal cortical AGT levels are lower in female rodents than in males under normal conditions; however, plasma and liver AGT levels do not exhibit this gender disparity, suggesting that kidneys have a unique mechanism inherent to establishing basal AGT levels. Our preliminary studies demonstrated that histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) levels are higher in the kidneys of female rats than those of male rats and that HDAC9 inhibitions by siRNA and an inhibitor resulted in augmentation of AGT levels in PTC. These results indicate that HDAC9 is a suppressor of intrarenal AGT expression. Since HDACs suppress gene transcription by histone-deacetylation, changes in HDAC levels alter accessibility of activated transcription factors to their binding sites on gene promoters. The preliminary study showed that HDAC9 levels are decreased by Ang II in PTC. Accordingly, we hypothesize that downregulation of HDAC9 by Ang II reduces the suppressive effects of HDAC9 on AGT expression. This allows other transcription factors activated by pathological stimuli, in particula IL-6, to augment AGT expression, thus leading to the progression of hypertension and associated tissue injury in Ang II-dependent hypertension. To address this hypothesis, we will establish that Ang II suppresses intrarenal HDAC9 levels during the development of Ang II-dependent hypertension using unique PTC and Ang II- dependent hypertensive animal models (Specific Aim 1). In addition, the proposed studies will demonstrate that Ang II-induced intrarenal HDAC9 downregulation is required for intrarenal AGT augmentation by synergistic effects of Ang II and IL-6 and consequent development of hypertension (Specific Aim 2). In these experiments, HDAC9 knockdown by siRNA and overexpression via AAV2 infection will be used to show that the HDAC9 knockdown and IL-6 synergistically augment AGT expression in PTC and that kidney-specific HDAC9 overexpression attenuates intrarenal AGT elevation facilitating consequent the development of kidney injury in Ang II-dependent hypertension. Gender differences of intrarenal HDAC9 regulation and its contribution to AGT regulation in hypertension will also be investigated in the projects. The results will establish the cardinal rol of intrarenal HDAC9 in the regulation of intrarenal AGT in Ang II-dependent hypertension and provide a mechanistic rationale for targeting HDAC9 to treat hypertension and RAS associated tissue injury.

Public Health Relevance

Angiotensinogen (AGT) regulation in the kidney is a key contributor to the hypertensive process. The overall goal of this project is to show an enzyme, HDAC9, regulates AGT levels in the kidney during progression of hypertension using genetically modified cell and animal models. The outcomes are expected to provide a novel and more effective approach for curtailing the development of hypertension and kidney injury and may facilitate clinical efforts to drastically reduce the morbidity and mortality rates associated with hypertension.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
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Hypertension and Microcirculation Study Section (HM)
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Maric-Bilkan, Christine
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Tulane University
Schools of Medicine
New Orleans
United States
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