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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential effects of central angiotensin II and substance P on sympathetic nerve activity in conscious rats. Implications for cardiovascular adaptation to behavioral responses.

The centrally induced effects of angiotensin II and substance P on the cardiovascular system and on neuronal efferent activity of the splanchnic, renal, and adrenal nerves were investigated in chronically instrumented conscious rats. The pressor responses to substance P injected into the lateral brain ventricle were accompanied by marked and short latency increases in heart rate, cardiac output, splanchnic, renal, and adrenal nerve activity, and a rise in plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline. Behaviorally, an arousal-type reaction was observed. In contrast, the pressor responses to intracerebroventricular angiotensin II were associated with initial decreases in heart rate, cardiac output, splanchnic, renal, and adrenal nerve activity, and a fall in plasma noradrenaline at the time of the maximal blood pressure increase. In some but not all animals, a second blood pressure peak associated with increases in heart rate and splanchnic nerve activity was observed after several minutes. Incomplete chronic sinoaortic baroreceptor deafferentiation prevented the angiotensin II-induced fall in heart rate but not the initial fall in splanchnic nerve activity. The decreases in splanchnic nerve activity also occurred in diabetes insipidus rats and persisted in Long Evans rats after vascular vasopressin receptor blockade with d(CH2)5AVP, despite marked reductions of the pressor responses in both groups. Peripheral alpha-adrenoceptor blockade with prazosin or ganglion blockade with hexamethonium inhibited the central angiotensin II pressor responses only in combination with vasopressin receptor blockade. On the other hand, either sympatholytic drug, alone, abolished the pressor responses in the diabetes insipidus rats. This indicates that in intact conscious rats the central pressor effects of angiotensin II are initiated by vasopressin release but become dependent on the sympathetic nervous system when vasopressin is absent or not effective. When rats were allowed to drink in response to angiotensin II, a further sharp rise in blood pressure occurred, together with increases in heart rate and splanchnic nerve activity. The results demonstrate fundamental differences in the mechanisms by which central pressor peptides can influence cardiovascular and autonomic function. It is conceivable that the distinct sympathetic response patterns to central angiotensin II and substance P receptor stimulation form part of a specific cardiovascular adjustment to the individual behavioral reactions, such as drinking, as in the case of angiotensin II, or arousal within the central processing of pain, as in the case of substance P.[1]


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