A role for endothelium-derived constricting factors (EDCF), and the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) pathway, in the vascular impairment found in the rat Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA)-model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was examined. FCA arthritis was induced in rats ± losartan. Vehicle-treated rats served as controls. Knee-joint swelling and red blood cell (RBC) aggregation were measured as indicators of inflammation and endothelium reactivity assessed by response to acetylcholine (ACh) on aortic rings. Results show that knee-joint swelling and RBC aggregation were elevated in the FCA + vehicle group and restored to control levels in the FCA + losartan-treated animals. ACh-induced relaxation of aortic rings taken from FCA + vehicle animals was significantly impaired compared to vehicle-controls and this vasoreactivity was restored to control levels in the FCA + losartan-treated group. Further examination of aorta from the FCA + vehicle animals revealed an EDCF that was reliant on cyclooxygenase-2 (but not cyclooxygenase-1), generation of superoxide anion generation (but not hydrogen peroxide) and activation of thromboxane-prostanoid receptor. Losartan administration in vivo or ex vivo (to aortic rings) prevented the generation of the EDCF. In summary, this is the first evidence of an EDCF in a model of RA and identifies this mechanism as potentially significant in the cardiovascular disorder associated with the disease.
- Endothelium-derived constricting factor
- Angiotensin II type 1 receptor
- Rheumatoid arthritis