Renin is present in vascular smooth muscle cells and has been shown to coexist with angiotensins I (AI) and II (AII) in many cell types. Accordingly, we postulated that the renin-angiotensin system controls vascular tone, not by the action of circulating renal renin but rather, by the local generation of angiotensin by vascular renin. Isolated rat hindquarters were perfused in vitro with Krebs-Henseleit buffer containing 7% albumin, and flow-adjusted to obtain a perfusion pressure of approximately 90 mmHg. Infusion of 4.8 nmol X min-1 for 5 min of AII or AI markedly increased perfusion pressure. An identical dose of the synthetic tetradecaptide of renin substrate (TDCP-RS) increased pressure similarly to AI. The pressure increase evoked by TDCP-RS was markedly decreased by captopril and by two different peptides that inhibit renin. Renin activity in the perfusate, incubated with semipurified rat renin substrate, was 21 +/- 3 pg AI X ml-1 X h-1 (mean +/- SEM) at 15 min of perfusion and 47 +/- 4 pg AI X ml-1 X h-1 at 45 min (n = 9; P less than 0.01). When TDCP-RS was infused at 4.8 nmol X min-1 for 5 min in the presence of captopril, AI in the perfusate increased linearly at a rate of 16.5 pmol X min-1 for 10 min (n = 5). The results indicate that TDCP-RS constricted the vasculature by its conversion to AII and suggest that AII was generated from a two-step hydrolysis of TDCP-RS by renin and converting enzyme. The data thus suggest that the renin-angiotensin system controls vascular tone by the local generation of AII by renin and converting enzyme in the vasculature.
J A Oliver, R R Sciacca