Chronic effects of angiotensin II and AT1 receptor antagonists in subfornical organ-lesioned rats

John P Collister, Michael D. Hendel

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31 Scopus citations


Angiotensin (Ang) II is known to exert some of its effects centrally via circumventricular organs. These unique central nervous system areas lack the normal blood-brain barrier and, therefore, allow peptide hormones access to the brain. Of these, the subfornical organ (SFO) has been shown to be involved in many of the acute dipsogenic and pressor effects of AngII, but much less is known about the role of the SFO in the chronic effects of AngII. We hypothesized that the SFO is a central site involved in the chronic hypotensive effects of endogenous AT1 receptor blockade, as well as the chronic hypertensive effects of exogenously administered AngII. In order to test these hypotheses, SFO-lesioned (SFOx) or sham Sprague-Dawley rats were instrumented with venous catheters and radiotelemetric pressure transducers for intravenous administration of losartan or AngII and continuous measurement of blood pressure and heart rate. Rats were given 3 days of saline control infusion (7 mL/day of 0.9% NaCl) and were then infused with either losartan (10 mg/kg per day) or AngII (10 ng/kg per min) for 10 days. By day 4 of losartan treatment, arterial pressure had decreased 24 ± 2 and 18 ± 2 mmHg in sham (n = 9) and SFOx (n = 10) rats, respectively. Furthermore, by day 5 of AngII infusion, arterial pressure had increased 12 ± 3 mmHg in sham rats (n = 9), but only by 4 ± 1 mmHg in SFOx rats (n = 9). In each treatment group, these attenuated pressure responses in SFOx rats continued through day 10 of treatment. These results support the hypotheses that the SFO plays a role in both the hypotensive effects of chronic AT1 receptor blockade and the chronic hypertensive phase of exogenously administered AngII.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - May 2005


  • AT receptor
  • Angiotensin antagonists
  • Angiotensin receptors
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Blood pressure
  • Brain
  • Circumventricular organ
  • Neurogenic
  • Renin-angiotensin system


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