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Astroglia are a possible cellular substrate of angiotensin(1-7) effects in the rostral ventrolateral medulla

Fang Guo, Beihui Liu, Feige Tang, Samantha Lane, Ekaterina A. Souslova, Dmitriy M. Chudakov, Julian F.R. Paton, Sergey Kasparov
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvq059 578-584 First published online: 3 March 2010


Aims Angiotensin(1-7) (Ang1-7) acting at the level of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) affects arterial pressure. The cellular substrate of Ang1-7 remains unknown. We sought to determine which cell types in RVLM could mediate its actions and whether these are altered in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).

Methods and results Astrocytes, catecholaminergic (CA-ergic) and non-CA-ergic neurones were targeted with adenoviral vectors in organotypic slice cultures from Wistar rats and SHR. Astrocytic Ca2+ signalling was monitored using a genetically engineered Ca2+ sensor Case12. CA-ergic neurones expressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) under control of the PRS × 8 promoter, whereas non-CA-neurones expressed EGFP under control of the synapsin-1 promoter. Neurones were recorded in whole cell mode while [Ca2+]i was monitored using Rhod-2. RVLM astrocytes responded to Ang1-7 (200–1000 nM) with concentration-dependent [Ca2+]i elevation. In SHR, the response to 1000 nM was significantly attenuated. The competitive Ang1-7 receptor antagonist A779, but not the AT1 receptor blocker (losartan), suppressed Ang1-7-induced [Ca2+]i elevations, which were also antagonized by blocking intracellular Ca2+ stores. Ang1-7 evoked no consistent changes in [Ca2+]i or membrane excitability in CA-ergic or non-CA-ergic neurones in either rat strain.

Conclusion Astroglia are a plausible cellular target of Ang1-7 in RVLM. Our data suggest that astrocytic responsiveness to Ang1-7 is reduced in SHR. We hypothesise that Ang1-7 modulates astrocytic signalling which in vivo may affect local metabolism and microcirculation, resulting in changes in activity of RVLM pre-sympathetic neurones and hence blood pressure.

  • Astroglia
  • Ca2+ sensor Case12
  • Angiotensin(1-7)
  • Rostral ventrolateral medulla
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rat
  • Catecholaminergic neurones
  • Non-catecholaminergic neurones
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