Endothelial NADPH Oxidase-2 Promotes Interstitial Cardiac Fibrosis and Diastolic Dysfunction Through Proinflammatory Effects and Endothelial-Mesenchymal Transition

Colin E. Murdoch, Sanjay Chaubey, Lingfang Zeng, Bin Yu, Aleksander Ivetic, Simon J. Walker, Davy Vanhoutte, Stephane Heymans, David J. Grieve, Alison C. Cave, Alison C. Brewer, Min Zhang, Ajay M. Shah*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives This study sought to investigate the effect of endothelial dysfunction on the development of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Background Endothelial dysfunction accompanies cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, but its contribution to these conditions is unclear. Increased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase-2 (NOX2) activation causes endothelial dysfunction. Methods Transgenic mice with endothelial-specific NOX2 overexpression (TG mice) and wild-type littermates received long-term angiotensin II (AngII) infusion (1.1 mg/kg/day, 2 weeks) to induce hypertrophy and fibrosis. Results TG mice had systolic hypertension and hypertrophy similar to those seen in wild-type mice but developed greater cardiac fibrosis and evidence of isolated left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (p <0.05). TG myocardium had more inflammatory cells and VCAM-1-positive vessels than did wild-type myocardium after AngII treatment (both p <0.05). TG microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) treated with AngII recruited 2-fold more leukocytes than did wild-type ECs in an in vitro adhesion assay ( p <0.05). However, inflammatory cell NOX2 per se was not essential for the profibrotic effects of AngII. TG showed a higher level of endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) than did wild-type mice after AngII infusion. In cultured ECs treated with AngII, NOX2 enhanced EMT as assessed by the relative expression of fibroblast versus endothelial-specific markers. Conclusions AngII-induced endothelial NOX2 activation has profound profibrotic effects in the heart in vivo that lead to a diastolic dysfunction phenotype. Endothelial NOX2 enhances EMT and has proinflammatory effects. This may be an important mechanism underlying cardiac fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction during increased renin-angiotensin activation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2734-2741
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014


  • angiotensin II
  • diastolic dysfunction
  • endothelial-mesenchymal transition
  • endothelium
  • NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase

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