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
It is well established that the area postrema, as a circumventricular organ, is susceptible to modulation by circulating hormones and peptides. Furthermore, activation of the area postrema has been shown to modulate central neurons involved in the regulation of cardiovascular function and blood pressure. In particular, the vasoactive peptide angiotensin II (ANG II) has been shown to inhibit baroreflex regulation of heart rate and increase sympathetic outflow and blood pressure via activation of area postrema neurons. Estrogen is thought to protect against hypertension in both humans and animal models and has been shown in a number of systems to alter the effects of ANG II. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of estrogen on ANG II activation of area postrema neurons. In this study, the effects of ANG II and KCl on fura 2-measured cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) responses in cultured area postrema neurons in the presence and absence of 12-h exposure to 100 nM 17 beta-estradiol (E2) were evaluated. In neurons incubated in control vehicle media, 50 nM ANG II increased [Ca2+]i by 92 +/- 12%. In neurons preincubated with 100 nM E2, ANG II increased [Ca2+]i by only 68 +/- 11%, for a total inhibition of the ANG II-evoked response of 24%. Coapplication of the estrogen receptor antagonist ICI-182,780 did not inhibit the effects of E2. In the same cells in which the effects of E2 on ANG II-evoked responses were tested, the effects of incubation in E on the depolarization-induced increased [Ca2+2]i due to 60 mM KCl were also tested. Incubation of the cells with 100 nM E increased the KCl-evoked [Ca2+2]i response, and this response was blocked by ICI-182,780. These results suggest that in the area postrema, estrogen may utilize multiple pathways to modulate neural activity and responses to ANG II.
In comparison to male rodents, females are protected against angiotensin (ANG) II- and aldosterone (Aldo)-induced hypertension. However, the mechanisms underlying this protective effect are not well understood. ANG-(1-7) is formed from ANG II by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and has an antihypertensive effect in the central nervous system (CNS). The present study tested the hypothesis that central ANG-(1-7) plays an important protective role in attenuating the development of Aldo/NaCl-hypertension in female rats. Systemic infusion of Aldo into intact female rats with 1% NaCl as their sole drinking fluid resulted in a slight increase in blood pressure (BP). Intracerebroventricular (icv) infusion of A-779, an ANG-(1-7) receptor (Mas-R) antagonist, significantly augmented the pressor effects of Aldo/NaCl. In contrast, systemic Aldo/NaCl induced a significant increase in BP in ovariectomized (OVX) female rats, and central infusion of ANG-(1-7) significantly attenuated this Aldo/NaCl pressor effect. The inhibitory effect of ANG-(1-7) on the Aldo/NaCl pressor effect was abolished by concurrent infusion of A-779. RT-PCR analyses showed that there was a corresponding change in mRNA expression of several renin-angiotensin system components, estrogen receptors and an NADPH oxidase subunit in the lamina terminalis. Taken together these results suggest that female sex hormones regulate an antihypertensive axis of the brain renin-angiotensin system involving ACE2/ANG-(1-7)/Mas-R that plays an important counterregulatory role in protecting against the development of Aldo/NaCl-induced hypertension.
It has been shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to the central effect of ANG II on blood pressure (BP). Recent studies have implicated an antihypertensive action of estrogen in ANG II-infused female mice. The present study used in vivo telemetry recording and in vitro living mouse brain slices to test the hypothesis that the central activation of estrogen receptors in male mice inhibits ANG II-induced hypertension via the modulation of the central ROS production. In male wild-type mice, the systemic infusion of ANG II induced a significant increase in BP (Delta30.1 +/- 2.5 mmHg). Either central infusion of Tempol or 17beta-estradiol (E2) attenuated the pressor effect of ANG II (Delta10.9 +/- 2.3 and Delta4.5 +/- 1.4 mmHg), and the protective effect of E2 was prevented by the coadministration of an estrogen receptor, antagonist ICI-182780 (Delta23.6 +/- 3.1 mmHg). Moreover, the ganglionic blockade on day 7 after the start of ANG II infusions resulted in a smaller reduction of BP in central Tempol- and in central E2-treated males, suggesting that estrogen inhibits the central ANG II-induced increases in sympathetic outflow. In subfornical organ slices, the application of ANG II resulted in a 21.5 +/- 2.5% increase in ROS production. The coadministration of irbesartan, an ANG II type 1 receptor antagonist, or the preincubation of brain slices with Tempol blocked ANG II-induced increases in ROS production (-1.8 +/- 1.6% and -1.0 +/- 1.8%). The ROS response to ANG II was also blocked by E2 (-3.2 +/- 2.4%). The results suggest that the central actions of E2 are involved in the protection from ANG II-induced hypertension and that estrogen modulation of the ANG II-induced effects may involve interactions with ROS production.