Journal of neuroinflammation

Brain endogenous angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2-R) protects against DOCA/salt-induced hypertension in female rats.

PMID 25885968


Recent studies demonstrate that there are sex differences in the expression of angiotensin receptor type 2 (AT2-R) in the kidney and that AT2-R plays an enhanced role in regulating blood pressure (BP) in females. Also, brain AT2-R activation has been reported to negatively modulate BP and sympathetic outflow. The present study investigated whether the central blockade of endogenous AT2-R augments deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)/salt-induced hypertension in both male and female rats. All rats were subcutaneously infused with DOCA combined with 1% NaCl solution as the sole drinking fluid. BP and heart rate (HR) were recorded by telemetric transmitters. To determine the effect of central AT2-R on DOCA/salt-induced hypertension, male and female rats were intracerebroventricularly (icv) infused with AT2-R antagonist, PD123,319, during DOCA/salt treatment. Subsequently, the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, a key cardiovascular regulatory region of the brain, was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot. DOCA/salt treatment elicited a greater increase in BP in male rats than that in females. Icv infusions of the AT2-R antagonist significantly augmented DOCA/salt pressor effects in females. However, this same treatment had no enhanced effect on DOCA/salt-induced increase in the BP in males. Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis of the female brain revealed that DOCA/salt treatment enhanced the mRNA and protein expression for both antihypertensive components including AT2-R, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2, and interleukin (IL)-10 and hypertensive components including angiotensin receptor type 1 (AT1-R), ACE-1, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-1β, but decreased mRNA expression of renin in the PVN. The central blockade of AT2-R reversed the changes in mRNA and protein expressions of ACE-2, IL-10, and renin, further increased the expressions of TNF-α and IL-1β, and kept higher the expressions of AT1-R, ACE-1, and AT2-R. These results indicate that endogenous AT2-R activation in the brain plays an important protective role in the development of DOCA/salt-induced hypertension in females, but not in males. The protective effect of AT2-R in females involves regulating the expression of brain renin-angiotensin system components and proinflammatory cytokines.