Distribution of angiotensin II receptor subtypes in the rabbit brain

G. Peter Aldred, Siew Yeen Chai, Keifu Song, Jialong Zhuo, Duncan P. MacGregor, Frederick A.O. Mendelsohn

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We have determined the distribution of angiotensin II receptor subtypes in rabbit brain using in vitro autoradiography. AT1 receptors were found in very high concentrations in the forebrain circumventricular organs - the subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis, and the median eminence as observed in other mammals. However, there was very little labeling in the area postrema. In the paraventricular nucleus, median preoptic nucleus, supraoptic nucleus there were high levels of predominantly AT1 receptors. High densities of AT1 receptors were also found in the nucleus of the solitary tract and the rostral and caudal ventrolateral medulla. All of these regions have putative roles in the regulation of blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte balance. In the rabbit brain there is less AT2 receptor binding than the rat, with most AT2 binding found in the molecular layer of the cerebellum and in the septohypothalamic nucleus. In the subthalamic nucleus, the mediodorsal and ventroposterior nuclei of the thalamus, locus coeruleus and inferior olivary nuclei, areas containing mostly AT2 receptors in the rat, no binding was detected in the rabbit except in the locus coeruleus which contains moderate levels of AT1 receptors. Taken in conjunction with our previous results in the rat and human brains, these results reveal that AT1 receptors predominate in rostral forebrain, hypothalamus and autonomic control centers of the medulla oblongata in all three species. However, the distribution and density of AT2 bearing sites in regions such as the septum, thalamus subthalamic nuclei, locus coeruleus, cerebellum and inferior olivary nuclei show marked species differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalRegulatory Peptides
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Circumventricular organ
  • In vitro autoradiography
  • Losartan
  • Renin-angiotensin system

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