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Neuroreport. 2013 Nov 13;24(16):911-7. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000019.

Differential effects of antihypertensive treatments on apoptosis, oxidative stress, and expression of angiotensin receptors in the cerebral cortex from the onset of prehypertension and hypertension in stroke-prone spontaneous hypertensive rats.

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aDepartment of Cardiology, the First Clinical Medical College of Fujian Medical University bFujian Institute of Hypertension, Fujian, People's Republic of China.


To investigate the effects of losartan and amlodipine on cell apoptosis in the cerebral cortex of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) from the onset of prehypertension or hypertension. SHRSP were randomly divided into five experimental groups that were administered losartan, amlodipine (n=8 in each group; 4 weeks old or 10 weeks old), or vehicle, respectively. Wistar-Kyoto rats were used as control animals. Systolic blood pressure was measured using the tail-cuff method every 2 weeks. At 20 weeks of age, apoptosis was analyzed by TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling, and the level of angiotensin II was measured by radioimmunoassay. Protein expressions of gp91(phox), superoxide dismutase, and angiotensin II type 1 (AT1R) and type 2 (AT2R) receptors in the cerebral cortex were detected by western blot. Losartan and amlodipine effectively delayed the progression of systolic blood pressure elevation, especially from the onset of prehypertension, and they had no obvious effects on the level of angiotensin II. In addition, treatment with losartan or amlodipine significantly decreased cell apoptosis, downregulated the protein expression of gp91(phox), and upregulated the protein expression of superoxide dismutase. The protein expressions of AT1R and AT2R were decreased by the administration of both drugs. No difference was found in the expression of AT1R among the drug treatment groups, whereas the expression of AT2R was increased in rats with increased blood pressure. Amlodipine, especially from the onset of prehypertension, was more effective than losartan in reducing apoptosis in the cerebral cortex in SHRSP. This may be related to the antioxidative stress properties of amlodipine.

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