The Effects of Mechanical Strain on the Gene Expression of Na+K+ ATPase in Sprague-Dawley Rat Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells
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The relationship of Na+K+ATPase and hypertension has been a topic of concentrated study for the past twenty years. During the onset of hypertension, an increase in Na+K+ATPase in the cellular membranes of the aortic smooth muscle cells has been found to occur. The reason for this increased manifestation of Na+K+ATPase during the beginning stages of hypertension and how the cells regulate this mechanism are still unclear. An initial stage of hypertension is the increase in blood pressure, which contracts the aortic smooth muscle cell lining. Previous in vitro studies have shown the contraction of the aortic smooth muscle cells does demonstrate this increased expression of Na+K+ATPase. The objective of this study was to begin to understand the regulation of the increased expression by beginning with mRNA's control and regulation. Using a Flexercell Strain Unit which cyclically stretches cells, the mRNA expression during 20%, 10%, and non-stretch controls were measured by analysis of Northern Blots. These measurements showed an equal expression of 20% and non-stretch control after three-hour stretches, but a decrease was seen with 10% stretch expression of mRNA. This could suggest that the wrong time frame for the stretches was chosen or that transcriptional control of the mRNA is not the key regulatory mechanism of increased Na+K+ATPase in the cellular membrane.