ANG II-induced hypertension and the role of the area postrema during normal and increased dietary salt

David B. Nahey, John P. Collister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


It has been shown that the area postrema (AP) plays a role in the development of certain types of chronic angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced hypertension in the rat but is not of great importance in the salt sensitivity of arterial pressure. It has recently been proposed, however, that elevated sodium levels may exacerbate the hypertensive effects of ANG II, which by itself dramatically affects salt sensitivity, by acting at sodium-sensing neurons in certain circumventricular organs of the brain. Thus the interactions of ANG II, sodium, and the central nervous system remain to be fully understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of the AP in ANG II-induced hypertension during periods of normal and elevated dietary salt. We hypothesized that an intact AP was necessary for the full development of hypertension under chronic ANG II infusion and that its role would be pronounced during periods of increased dietary sodium. To test this, male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent ablation of the area postrema (APx, n = 6) or sham operation (sham, n = 6). After 3 wk of recovery, rats were instrumented with radiotelemetry transducers for constant blood pressure and heart rate monitoring and venous catheters for vehicle infusion. After a 3-day control period of 0.9% saline infusion (7 ml/day) and 0.4% dietary sodium, a 10-day period of ANG II infusion (10 ng·kg-1·min-1) was begun, immediately followed by a second 10-day period during which rats were fed a 4.0% sodium diet. By day 6 of ANG II infusion, mean arterial pressure (MAP) in APx rats had increased to 139 ± 4 mmHg, whereas MAP in sham rats had increased to 126 ± 3 mmHg. This difference was found to be significant and continued through day 1 of the high-salt period, after which MAP of the two groups had risen to similar levels. On day 9 of high salt, MAP was again observed to be significantly higher (162 ± 1 mmHg) in APx rats when compared with sham rats (147 ± 4 mmHg.) These results do not support the hypothesis that the AP is necessary for the full development of ANG II-induced hypertension at normal or elevated levels of dietary sodium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H694-H700
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Angiotensin
  • Blood pressure
  • Circumventricular organs
  • Sodium and water balance

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