Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979)

Nox2, Ca2+, and protein kinase C play a role in angiotensin II-induced free radical production in nucleus tractus solitarius.

PMID 16894058


The dorsomedial portion of the nucleus tractus solitarius (dmNTS) is the site of termination of baroreceptor and cardiorespiratory vagal afferents and plays a critical role in cardiovascular regulation. Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a powerful signaling molecule in dmNTS neurons and exerts some of its biological effects by modulating Ca(2+) currents via reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. We investigated whether a Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase is the source of the Ang II-induced ROS production and whether the signaling mechanisms of its activation require intracellular Ca(2+) or protein kinase C (PKC). Second-order dmNTS neurons were anterogradely labeled with 4-(4-[didecylamino]styryl)-N-methylpyridinium iodide transported from the vagus and isolated from the brain stem. ROS production was assessed in 4-(4-[didecylamino]styryl)-N-methylpyridinium iodide-positive dmNTS neurons using the fluorescent dye 6-carboxy-2',7'-dichlorodihydro-fluorescein di(acetoxymethyl ester). Ang II (3 to 2000 nmol/L) increased ROS production in dmNTS neurons (EC(50)=38.3 nmol/L). The effect was abolished by the ROS scavenger Mn (III) porphyrin 5,10,20-tetrakis (benzoic acid) porphyrin manganese (III), the Ang II type 1 receptor antagonist losartan, or the NADPH oxidase inhibitors apocynin or gp91ds-tat. Ang II failed to increase ROS production or to potentiate L-type Ca(2+) currents in dmNTS neurons of mice lacking Nox2. The PKC inhibitor GF109203X or depletion of intracellular Ca(2+) attenuated Ang II-elicited ROS production. We conclude that the powerful effects of Ang II on Ca(2+) currents in dmNTS neurons are mediated by PKC activation leading to ROS production via Nox2. Thus, a Nox2-containing NADPH oxidase is the critical link between Ang II and the enhancement of Ca(2+) currents that underlie the actions of Ang II on central autonomic regulation.