Role of the bradykinin B2 receptor in a rat model of local heart irradiation

Purpose: Radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD) is a delayed effect of radiotherapy for cancers of the chest, such as breast, esophageal, and lung. Kinins are small peptides with cardioprotective properties. We previously used a rat model that lacks the precursor kininogen to demonstrate that kinins are involved in RIHD. Here, we examined the role of the kinin B2 receptor (B2R) in early radiation-induced signaling in the heart.

Materials and methods: Male Brown Norway rats received the B2R-selective antagonist HOE-140 (icatibant) via osmotic minipump from 5 days before until 4 weeks after 21 Gy local heart irradiation. At 4 weeks, signaling events were measured in left ventricular homogenates and nuclear extracts using western blotting and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Numbers of CD68-positive (monocytes/macrophages), CD2-positive (T-lymphocytes), and mast cells were measured using immunohistochemistry.

Results: Radiation-induced c-Jun phosphorylation and nuclear translocation were enhanced by HOE-140. HOE-140 did not modify endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) phosphorylation or alter numbers of CD2-positive or mast cells, but enhanced CD68-positive cell counts in irradiated hearts.

Conclusions: B2R signaling may regulate monocyte/macrophage infiltration and c-Jun signals in the irradiated heart. Although eNOS is a main target for kinins, the B2R may not regulate eNOS phosphorylation in response to radiation.