Author(s): Yuka EndoMochizuki, Naoki Mochizuki, Hirofumi Sawa, Akio Takada
To understand the significance of the tissue renin-angiotensin system in the heart, we examined the expression of renin and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in autopsied human hearts. Samples were taken from organs obtained at autopsy from 15 patients without heart disease and 3 patients with heart disease (old myocardial infarctions, acute myocardial infarctions, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). We examined the expression of renin and ACE mRNA by using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RT-PCR showed the expression of renin in the right atria in all patients. However, expression of renin mRNA in the left ventricles was not found in any of the 15 hearts without heart disease. In contrast, renin mRNA was detected in the left ventricles in hearts with heart disease. ACE mRNA was detected in both the atria and the ventricles in normal hearts, and its expression did not alter in diseased hearts. These findings suggest that renin mRNA is expressed mainly in the right atria in normal hearts, but that is expression in the left ventricle can be activated in some pathological conditions.