Differential Effects of Angiotensin II and Angiotensin-(1-7) at the Nucleus Tractus Solitarii of Transgenic Rats with Low Brain Angiotensinogen
The potential importance of permanent alteration of the brain renin-angiotensin system on angiotensin (Ang) II and Ang-(1-7) effects at the level of the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) was investigated in transgenic rats with a deficit in brain angiotensinogen production TGR(ASrAOGEN) (TGR). Ang II (10 pmol), Ang-(1-7) (10 pmol) or NaCl (0.9%/ 50 nl) were microinjected into the NTS of urethane-anesthetized TGR (n=28) and Sprague-Dawley (SD, n=22) rats. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR) were measured via a femoral artery catheter and the baroreflex control of heart rate was evaluated after increases in MAP induced by phenylephrine (baroreflex bradycardia). Ang II microinjections into the NTS of the TGR induced a higher decrease in MAP and HR (-37 ± 5 mmHg and -69 ± 12.5 beats/min, respectively) in comparison with SD rats (-18 ± 1 mmHg and -51 ± 11 beats/min, respectively). In contrast, changes after Ang-(1-7) microinjections into the NTS of TGR (-6 ± 1 mmHg and -13 ± 5 beats/min) were significantly smaller than that induced in SD (-11 ± 2 mmHg and -24 ± 8 beats/min.). The baroreflex sensitivity was accentuated in TGR in comparison to SD rats (0.69 ± 0.06 vs. 0.44 ± 0.03 ms/ mmHg). Ang II microinjection into the NTS produced similar attenuation in the baroreflex bradycardia in both SD (0.28 ± 0.07 vs. 0.5 ± 0.07 ms/ mmHg, before injection) and TGR (0.44 ± 0.1 vs. 0.82 ± 0.1ms/ mmHg, before injection). Ang-(1-7) microinjection elicited a facilitation of the baroreflex bradycardia in SD (0.62 ± 0.1 vs. 0.4 ± 0.03 ms/ mmHg, before injection). However in TGR, baroreflex bradycardia after Ang-(1-7) was not different from saline microinjection. These results indicate that a permanent inhibition of angiotensinogen synthesis in the brain can lead to a functional up-regulation of Ang II receptors. However, the putative Ang-(1-7) receptors seem to be desensitized in the NTS of these transgenic rats. The alterated baroreflex sensitivity, both before and after Ang microinjection, indicates the functionally relevant decrease in brain Ang in TGR and supports differential regulatory mechanisms for the effects of the two Ang peptides.