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Exp Physiol. 2011 Oct;96(10):1028-38. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2011.059840. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

Regulation of hypothalamic renin-angiotensin system and oxidative stress by aldosterone.

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  • 1University of Ottawa Heart Institute, 40 Ruskin Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4W7.


In rats with salt-induced hypertension or postmyocardial infarction, angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT(1)R) densities and oxidative stress increase and neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) levels decrease in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The present study was designed to determine whether these changes may depend on activation of the aldosterone -'ouabain' neuromodulatory pathway. After intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion of aldosterone (20 ng h(-1)) for 14 days, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were recorded in conscious Wistar rats, and mRNA and protein for nNOS, endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), AT(1)R and NADPH oxidase subunits were assessed in brain tissue. Blood pressure and HR were significantly increased by aldosterone. Aldosterone significantly increased mRNA and protein of AT(1)R, P22phox, P47phox, P67phox and Nox2, and decreased nNOS but not eNOS mRNA and protein in the PVN, as well as increased the angiotensin-converting enzyme and AT(1)R binding densities in the PVN and supraoptic nucleus. The increases in BP and HR, as well as the changes in mRNA, proteins and angiotensin-converting enzyme and AT(1)R binding densities were all largely prevented by concomitant i.c.v. infusion of Digibind (to bind 'ouabain') or benzamil (to block presumed epithelial sodium channels). These data indicate that aldosterone, via 'ouabain', increases in the PVN angiotensin-converting enzyme, AT(1)R and oxidative stress, but decreases nNOS, and suggest that endogenous aldosterone may cause the similar pattern of changes observed in salt-sensitive hypertension and heart failure postmyocardial infarction.

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