Several recent studies have demonstrated that ablation of genes of the renin-angiotensin system can have wide-ranging and sometimes unexpected effects. Renin is directly involved in blood pressure regulation and is encoded by a single gene in most mammals. Wild mouse strains and some inbred laboratory strains have a duplicated renin gene (Ren-2), the physiological significance of which is unclear. Significant differences exist in the structure and expression of these renin genes, but as yet, no distinct biological function that distinguishes these genes has been defined. We have used gene targeting to discover the effects of inactivating the duplicated (Ren-2) gene in strain 129 mice, and we show that mice lacking the Ren-2 gene are viable and healthy. There appear to be no histopathological differences in renin-expressing tissues between Ren-2-null mice and their controls. Studies of our Ren-2-null mice allow, for the first time, a direct evaluation of the ability of the Ren-1d gene to regulate blood pressure in the absence of expression of the Ren-2 enzyme. We observed no alteration to blood pressure in adult mice homozygous for the mutated Ren-2 gene, even though the concentration of active renin is increased and of prorenin is decreased in plasma of these mice. Ren-1d is therefore capable of regulating normal blood pressure and despite a different tissue expression profile, is functionally equivalent to Ren-1c.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|