There is extensive evidence that activation of the immune system is both necessary and required for the development of angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced hypertension in males. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sex differences exist in the ability of the adaptive immune system to induce Ang II-dependent hypertension and whether central and renal T-cell infiltration during Ang II-induced hypertension is sex dependent. Recombinant activating gene-1 (Rag-1)(-/-) mice, lacking both T and B cells, were used. Male and female Rag-1(-/-) mice received adoptive transfer of male CD3(+) T cells 3 weeks before 14-day Ang II infusion (490 ng/kg per minute). Blood pressure was monitored via tail cuff. In the absence of T cells, systolic blood pressure responses to Ang II were similar between sexes (Δ22.1 mm Hg males versus Δ18 mm : Hg females). After adoptive transfer of male T cells, Ang II significantly increased systolic blood pressure in males (Δ37.7 mm : Hg; P
Hypertension is a major contributor to worldwide morbidity and mortality rates related to cardiovascular disease. There are important sex differences in the onset and rate of hypertension in humans. Compared with age-matched men, premenopausal women are less likely to develop hypertension. However, after age 60, the incidence of hypertension increases in women and even surpasses that seen in older men. It is thought that changes in levels of circulating ovarian hormones as women age may be involved in the increase in hypertension in older women. One of the key mechanisms involved in the development of hypertension in both men and women is an increase in sympathetic nerve activity (SNA). Brain regions important for the regulation of SNA, such as the subfornical organ, the paraventricular nucleus and the rostral ventral lateral medulla, also express specific subtypes of oestrogen receptors. Each of these brain regions has also been implicated in mechanisms underlying risk factors for hypertension such as obesity, stress and inflammation. The present review brings together evidence that links actions of oestrogen at these receptors to modulate some of the common brain mechanisms involved in the ability of hypertensive risk factors to increase SNA and blood pressure. Understanding the mechanisms by which oestrogen acts at key sites in the brain for the regulation of SNA is important for the development of novel, sex-specific therapies for treating hypertension.
Angiotensin II (ANG II) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) act on area postrema (AP) neurons to modulate the baroreflex. Because activation of AP neurons by either ANG II or AVP increases intracellular free Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]i), the goal of this study was to analyze the factors affecting the [Ca2+]i responses to ANG II and AVP. Neurons were recovered from 14- to 16-day old rats and studied after 8-14 days in culture by use of the microscopic digital image analysis for fura 2-loaded cells. The effects of ANG II (100 nM) and AVP (100 nM) on [Ca2+]i were determined in normal (2 mM) and low (
The maintenance of stable blood pressure during postural changes is known to involve integration of vestibular and cardiovascular central regulatory mechanisms. Sensory activity in the vestibular system plays an important role in cardiovascular regulation. The purpose of this study was to determine the role of vestibular gravity receptors in normal baroreflex function. Baroreflex heart rate (HR) responses to changes in blood pressure (BP) in otoconia-deficient head tilt (het) mice (n = 8) were compared with their wild-type littermates (n = 12). The study was carried out in conscious male mice chronically implanted with arterial and venous catheters for recording BP and HR and for the infusion of vasoactive drugs. Resting HR was higher in the het mice (661 +/- 13 beats/min) than in the wild-type mice (579 +/- 20 beats/min). BP was comparable in the het (113 +/- 4 mmHg) and wild-type mice (104 +/- 4 mmHg). The slopes of reflex decreases in HR in response to phenylephrine (PE) were blunted in the het mice (-5.5 +/- 1.5 beats x min(-1) x mmHg(-1)) compared with the wild-type mice (-8.5 +/- 0.9 beats x min(-1) x mmHg(-1)). Likewise, reflex tachycardic responses to decreases in BP with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were significantly blunted in the het mice (-0.8 +/- 0.3 beats x min(-1) x mmHg(-1)) versus the wild-type mice (-2.2 +/- 0.6 beats x min(-1) x mmHg(-1)). Frequency-domain analysis of the HR variability suggests that under resting conditions, parasympathetic contribution was lower in the het versus wild-type mice. Mapping of the expression of immediate-early gene product, c-Fos, in forebrain and brain stem nuclei in response to a BP challenge showed no differences between the wild-type and het mice. These results suggest that tonic activity of gravity receptors modulates and is required for normal function of the cardiac baroreflexes.