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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2010 Sep;299(3):H763-71. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00345.2010. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

Angiotensin-(1-12) requires angiotensin converting enzyme and AT1 receptors for cardiovascular actions within the solitary tract nucleus.

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Hypertension and Vascular Research Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1032, USA.


The novel peptide, angiotensin (ANG)-(1-12), elicits a systemic pressor response and vasoconstriction. These effects are blocked by ANG converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or AT(1) receptor antagonists, suggesting a role as an ANG II precursor. However, ANG-(1-12) can serve as a substrate for either ANG II or ANG-(1-7) formation, depending on the local tissue enzymes. Although levels of ANG-(1-12) are higher than ANG I or ANG II in brain, the role and processing of this peptide for autonomic control of heart rate (HR) has yet to be considered. Thus we examined the effects of nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) microinjection of ANG-(1-12) on baroreflex sensitivity for control of HR, resting arterial pressure (AP) and HR, and indexes of sympathovagal balance in urethane/chloralose anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats. NTS injection of ANG-(1-12) (144 fmol/120 nl) significantly impaired the evoked baroreflex sensitivity to increases in AP [n = 7; 1.06 +/- 0.06 baseline vs. 0.44 +/- 0.07 ms/mmHg after ANG-(1-12)], reduced the vagal component of spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity and HR variability, and elicited a transient depressor response (P < 0.05). NTS pretreatment with an AT(1) receptor antagonist or ACE inhibitor prevented ANG-(1-12)-mediated autonomic and depressor responses. ANG-(1-12) immunostaining was observed in cells within the NTS of Sprague-Dawley rats, providing a potential intracellular source for the peptide. However, acute NTS injection of an ANG-(1-12) antibody did not alter resting baroreflex sensitivity, AP, or HR in these animals. Collectively, these findings suggest that exogenous ANG-(1-12) is processed to ANG II for cardiovascular actions at AT(1) receptors within the NTS. The lack of acute endogenous ANG-(1-12) tone for cardiovascular regulation in Sprague-Dawley rats contrasts with chronic immunoneutralization in hypertensive rats, suggesting that ANG-(1-12) may be activated only under hypertensive conditions.

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