Angiotensin II in dorsomedial hypothalamus modulates cardiovascular arousal caused by stress but not feeding in rabbits

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The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) is critically implicated in the cardiovascular response to emotional stress. This study aimed to determine whether the DMH is also important in cardiovascular arousal associated with appetitive feeding behavior and, if so, whether locally released angiotensin II and glutamate are important in this arousal. Emotional (air-jet) stress and feeding elicited similar tachycardic (+51 and +45 beats/min, respectively) and pressor (+16 and +9 mmHg, respectively) responses in conscious rabbits. Bilateral microinjection of GABA(A) agonist muscimol (500 pmol) into the DMH, but not nearby hypothalamic regions, attenuated pressor and tachycardic responses to air-jet by 56-63 and evoked anorexia. Conversely, stimulation of the DMH with the glutamate analog kainic acid (250 pmol) elicited hypertension (+25 mmHg) and tachycardia (+114 beats/min) and activated feeding behavior. Local microinjection of a glutamate receptor antagonist, kynurenic acid (10 nmol), decreased pressor responses to stress and eating by 46 and 72 , respectively, without affecting feeding behavior. Bilateral microinjection of a selective AT(1)-receptor antagonist, candesartan (500 pmol), into the DMH, but not nearby sites, attenuated pressor and tachycardic stress responses by 31 and 33 , respectively. Candesartan did not alter feeding behavior or circulatory response to feeding. These results indicate that, in addition to its role in mediating stress responses, the DMH may be important in regulating cardiovascular arousal associated with feeding. Local glutamatergic inputs appear to regulate cardiovascular response to both stress and feeding. Conversely, angiotensin II, acting via AT1 receptors, may selectively modulate, in the DMH, cardiovascular response to stress, but not feeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R257 - R264
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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