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Am J Physiol. 1991 Jul;261(1 Pt 2):R209-16.

Characterization and development of angiotensin II receptor subtypes (AT1 and AT2) in rat brain.

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  • 1Section on Pharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Angiotensin II receptor subtypes (AT1 and AT2) were characterized in rat brain by displacement with the specific angiotensin antagonists Du Pont 753 and CGP 42112A, respectively, and quantitative autoradiography. Young (2-wk-old) rats expressed AT1 receptors in selected limbic system areas, structures involved in cardiovascular and fluid regulation, parts of the hippocampal formation, and the choroid plexus. In young rats, AT2 receptors were concentrated in areas involved in control and learning of motor activity, sensory areas, and selected limbic system structures. The cingulate cortex, the molecular layer of the cerebellar cortex, and the superior colliculus contained both AT1 and AT2 receptors. The number of AT1 receptors in most areas of adult (8-wk-old) rats was similar to or even higher than that present in young rats. Conversely, AT2 receptors were always much lower in number in adult animals, and in some areas they were undetectable in adults. Their differential localization and development suggest different functions for the specific angiotensin II receptor subtypes.

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