Serelaxin and the AT2 Receptor Agonist CGP42112 Evoked a Similar, Nonadditive, Cardiac Antifibrotic Effect in High Salt-Fed Mice That Were Refractory to Candesartan Cilexetil

Yan Wang, Lei Han, Matthew Shen, Emma S. Jones, Iresha Spizzo, Sarah L. Walton, Kate M. Denton, Tracey A. Gaspari, Chrishan S. Samuel, Robert E. Widdop

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Fibrosis is involved in the majority of cardiovascular diseases and is a key contributor to end-organ dysfunction. In the current study, the antifibrotic effects of recombinant human relaxin-2 (serelaxin; RLX) and/or the AT2R agonist CGP42112 (CGP) were compared with those of the established AT1R antagonist, candesartan cilexetil (CAND), in a high salt-induced cardiac fibrosis model. High salt (HS; 5%) for 8 weeks did not increase systolic blood pressure in male FVB/N mice, but CAND treatment alone significantly reduced systolic blood pressure from HS-induced levels. HS significantly increased cardiac interstitial fibrosis, which was reduced by either RLX and/or CGP, which were not additive under the current experimental conditions, while CAND failed to reduce HS-induced cardiac fibrosis. The antifibrotic effects induced by RLX and/or CGP were associated with reduced myofibroblast differentiation. Additionally, all treatments inhibited the HS-induced elevation in tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-1, together with trends for increased MMP-13 expression, that collectively would favor collagen degradation. Furthermore, these antifibrotic effects were associated with reduced cardiac inflammation. Collectively, these results highlight that either RXFP1 or AT2R stimulation represents novel therapeutic strategies to target fibrotic conditions, particularly in HS states that may be refractory to AT1R blockade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-87
Number of pages12
JournalACS Pharmacology & Translational Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


  • AT receptor
  • candesartan cilexetil
  • cardiac fibrosis
  • CGP42112
  • high salt
  • inflammation
  • serelaxin

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