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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 141039, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/141039
Review Article

Genetically Modified Mouse Models Used for Studying the Role of the AT2 Receptor in Cardiac Hypertrophy and Heart Failure

1Department of Internal Medicine, Carney Hospital, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02124, USA
2Department of Cardiovascular Research, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02135, USA

Received 18 September 2010; Revised 15 February 2011; Accepted 21 February 2011

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2011 Maria D. Avila et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The actions of Angiotensin II have been implicated in many cardiovascular conditions. It is widely accepted that the cardiovascular effects of Angiotensin II are mediated by different subtypes of receptors: AT1 and AT2. These membrane-bound receptors share a part of their nucleic acid but seem to have different distribution and pathophysiological actions. AT1 mediates most of the Angiotensin II actions since it is ubiquitously expressed in the cardiovascular system of the normal adult. Moreover AT2 is highly expressed in the developing fetus but its expression in the cardiovascular system is low and declines after birth. However the expression of AT2 appears to be modulated by pathological states such as hypertension, myocardial infarction or any pathology associated to tissue remodeling or inflammation. The specific role of this receptor is still unclear and different studies involving in vivo and in vitro experiments have shown conflicting data. It is essential to clarify the role of the AT2 receptor in the different pathological states as it is a potential site for an effective therapeutic regimen that targets the Angiotensin II system. We will review the different genetically modified mouse models used to study the AT2 receptor and its association with cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.