Rationale: Angiotensin (Ang) II exerts diverse physiological actions in both the peripheral and central neural systems. It was reported that the activity of Ang II is higher in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and that angiotensin type-1 receptors are colocalized with NAD(P)H oxidase in the neurons of the NTS, resulting in the induction of local reactive oxygen species production by Ang II. However, the signaling mechanisms of Ang II that induce hypertension remain unclear. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the possible signaling pathways involved in Ang II-mediated blood pressure regulation in the NTS. Methods and Results: Male SHRs were treated with losartan or tempol for 2 weeks, after which systolic blood pressure was observed to decrease significantly. Dihydroethidium staining showed many cells with high reactive oxygen species in the NTS of SHRs. The addition of losartan or tempol decreased the numbers of reactive oxygen species-positive cells in the NTS. The systemic administration of losartan or tempol reduced the systolic blood pressure and increased NO production. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analysis further showed that inhibition of Ang II activity by losartan or tempol significantly increased the expression extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, ribosomal protein S6 kinase (RSK), and also increased neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) phosphorylation. RSK was also found to bind directly to nNOS and induce phosphorylation at the Ser1416 position. Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that the ERK1/2-RSK-nNOS signaling pathway may play a significant role in Ang II-mediated central blood pressure regulation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine