Changes in angiotensin AT1 receptor mRNA levels in the rat brain after immobilization stress and inhibition of central nitric oxide synthase.Endocr Regul. 2001 Jun; 35(2):65-70.ER
To study functional interactions between angiotensin II AT1 receptors and nitric oxide (NO) activity in different brain areas in rats exposed to immobilization stress.
Central inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) was provided by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of (N-omega-nitro-L-arginine-methylester) L-NAME and analysis of AT1 receptor mRNA was performed using semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique. The immobilization in prone position lasted 2 hrs and the rats were sacrificed 24 hr later. The hypothalamus, hippocampus, thalamus, and cortex were isolated from fresh brains.
In the cortex, gene expression of AT1 receptors was unaffected either by L-NAME treatment, or by a single exposure to immobilization stress for 2 hours followed by 24 hours of rest. In the hippocampus, the repeated treatment with L-NAME increased mRNA levels of AT1 receptors approximately 9-times compared to those in the control (untreated) group. Immobilization also increased AT1 receptor mRNA levels in the hippocampus which was similar to that induced by the L-NAME. The increase of AT1 receptor mRNA levels in the hippocampus of immobilized rats was not further altered when the animals were pretreated with L-NAME. In control rats, exposure to immobilization resulted in a significant rise in mRNA levels coding for AT1 receptors in the hypothalamus, but not in the thalamus. L-NAME treatment showed a tendency of increase in AT1 receptor mRNA levels in the hypothalamus. Moreover, when animals treated with L-NAME were subjected to immobilization, a further increase in AT1 receptor mRNA levels was observed in the hypothalamus in comparison with corresponding controls.
The present data indicate that a single immobilization stress results in increased gene expression of AT1 receptors in the hypothalamus and hippocampus. The rise in AT1 mRNA levels in the same brain structures after repeated treatment with L-NAME allow to suggest an interaction between the central angiotensin II and nitric oxide.