This study tests the hypothesis that the area postrema (AP) is necessary for endogenous ANG II to chronically maintain lumbar sympathetic nerve activity (LSNA) and heart rate (HR) in conscious sodium-deprived rats. The effect of the ANG II type 1-receptor antagonist, losartan, on LSNA and HR was determined in rats that were either AP lesioned (APX) or sham lesioned. The sham rats were divided into groups, with (SFR) or without (SAL) food restriction, to control for the decreased food intake of APX rats. Before losartan, basal mean arterial pressure (MAP), HR, and baroreflex control of LSNA and HR were similar between groups, with the exception of lower maximal reflex LSNA and higher maximal gain of the HR-MAP curve in APX rats. In all groups, losartan similarly shifted (P <0.01) the LSNA-MAP curve to the left without altering maximal gain. Losartan also decreased (P <0.05) minimal LSNA in all groups, and suppressed (P <0.01) maximal LSNA (% of control) in SFR (240 ± 13 to 205 ± 15) and SAL (231 ± 21 to 197 ± 26) but not APX (193 ± 10 to 185 ± 8) rats. In general, losartan similarly shifted the HR-MAP curve to a lower MAP in all groups. The results suggest that the AP is not necessary for endogenous ANG II to chronically support LSNA and HR at basal and elevated MAP levels in sodium-deprived rats. However, the AP is required for endogenous ANG II to increase maximal reflex LSNA at low MAP levels.
- Angiotensin II type 1 receptor
- Heart rate
- Sympathetic nerve activity