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Protein & Peptide Letters


ISSN (Print): 0929-8665
ISSN (Online): 1875-5305

Letter Article

Angiotensin-(1-7), Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 and Mas Receptor in Rat Polycystic Ovaries

Author(s): Virginia M. Pereira, Fernando M. Reis*, Maíra Casalechi and Adelina M. Reis

Volume 28, Issue 3, 2021

Published on: 26 August, 2020

Page: [249 - 254] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/0929866527666200826104410

Price: $65


Background: Hyperandrogenism is a pivotal mediator in the pathogenesis of the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but the mechanisms of androgen excess in this condition are not fully understood. Angiotensin (Ang)-(1-7) is an active peptide of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) that stimulates ovarian follicular growth and testosterone release in vitro.

Objective: To investigate whether Ang-(1-7), its receptor Mas and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the enzyme that converts Ang II into Ang-(1-7), are expressed in rat polycystic ovaries (PCO) and thus if this peptide system might be associated with excess androgen production in PCO.

Methods: A rat model that shares some features of PCOS such as disruption of folliculogenesis and multiple ovarian cyst formation was used in the study.

Results: We found reduced levels of Ang-(1-7) and Mas receptor in PCO compared to normal ovaries. Also, ACE2 mRNA expression was reduced in PCO compared to ovaries of control rats (p < 0.05). PCO had high levels of estrogen and testosterone and increased mRNA for upstream enzymes of the steroidogenic cascade, but not of P450 aromatase.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that the ovarian ACE2-Ang-(1-7)-Mas receptor axis is inhibited and therefore may not be a co-factor of excess testosterone production in rat PCO.

Keywords: Angiotensin-(1-7), mas receptor, ovary, steroidogenesis, PCOs, renin-angiotensin system.

Graphical Abstract
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