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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Jan 1;18(1):36-50. doi: 10.1089/ars.2011.4457. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Redox-sensitive oxidation and phosphorylation of PTEN contribute to enhanced activation of PI3K/Akt signaling in rostral ventrolateral medulla and neurogenic hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Center for Translational Research in Biomedical Sciences, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital , Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.



The activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/serine/threonine protein kinase (Akt) is enhanced under hypertension. The phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a negative regulator of PI3K signaling, and its activity is redox-sensitive. In the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), which is responsible for the maintenance of blood pressure, oxidative stress plays a pivotal role in neurogenic hypertension. The present study evaluated the hypothesis that redox-sensitive inactivation of PTEN results in enhanced PI3K/Akt signaling in RVLM, leading to neurogenic hypertension.


Compared to age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, PTEN inactivation in the form of oxidation and phosphorylation were greater in RVLM of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). PTEN inactivation was accompanied by augmented PI3K activity and PI3K/Akt signaling, as reflected by the increase in phosphorylation of Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin. Intracisternal infusion of tempol or microinjection into the bilateral RVLM of adenovirus encoding superoxide dismutase significantly antagonized the PTEN inactivation and blunted the enhanced PI3K/Akt signaling in SHR. Gene transfer of PTEN to RVLM in SHR also abrogated the enhanced Akt activation and promoted antihypertension. Silencing PTEN expression in RVLM with small-interfering RNA, on the other hand, augmented PI3K/Akt signaling and promoted long-term pressor response in normotensive WKY rats.


The present study demonstrated for the first time that the redox-sensitive check-and-balance process between PTEN and PI3K/Akt signaling is engaged in the pathogenesis of hypertension.


We conclude that an aberrant interplay between the redox-sensitive PTEN and PI3k/Akt signaling in RVLM underpins neural mechanism of hypertension.

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