Pericardial Parietal Mesothelial Cells: Source of the Angiotensin-Converting-Enzyme of the Bovine Pericardial Fluid

<div><p>Abstract Background: Angiotensin II (Ang II), the primary effector hormone of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), acts systemically or locally, being produced by the action of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) on angiotensin I. Although several tissue RASs, such as cardiac RAS, have been described, little is known about the presence of an RAS in the pericardial fluid and its possible sources. Locally produced Ang II has paracrine and autocrine effects, inducing left ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis, heart failure and cardiac dysfunction. Because of the difficulties inherent in human pericardial fluid collection, appropriate experimental models are useful to obtain data regarding the characteristics of the pericardial fluid and surrounding tissues. Objectives: To evidence the presence of constituents of the Ang II production paths in bovine pericardial fluid and parietal pericardium. Methods: Albumin-free crude extracts of bovine pericardial fluid, immunoprecipitated with anti-ACE antibody, were submitted to electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and gels stained with coomassie blue. Duplicates of gels were probed with anti-ACE antibody. In the pericardial membranes, ACE was detected by use of immunofluorescence. Results: Immunodetection on nitrocellulose membranes showed a 146-KDa ACE isoform in the bovine pericardial fluid. On the pericardial membrane sections, ACE was immunolocalized in the mesothelial layer. Conclusions: The ACE isoform in the bovine pericardial fluid and parietal pericardium should account at least partially for the production of Ang II in the pericardial space, and should be considered when assessing the cardiac RAS.</p></div>