Understanding the role of angiotensin in the rostral ventrolateral medulla

Project Details

We discovered that the rostral ventrolateral medulla contains a high density of angiotensin AT1 receptors in all species studied, including humans. This region of the medulla is critical for the generation and regulation of sympathetic nervous activity supplying blood vessels and thus plays a pivotal role in the regulation of blood pressure. Subsequently we demonstrated that:

  • Angiotensin excites these neurons to increase blood pressure
    (Allen AM, Dampney RAL, Mendelsohn FAO: Angiotensin receptor binding and pressor effects in the cat subretrofacial nucleus. Am J Physiol 1988; 255:H1011-H1017).
  • Stimulation of angiotensin receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla plays a role in the increased blood pressure observed in spontaneously hypertensive rats- a model of human essential hypertension
    (Allen AM: Blockade of angiotensin AT 1 receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla of spontaneously hypertensive rats reduces blood pressure and sympathetic nerve discharge. J Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System 2001; 2: S120-S124).
  • Expression of angiotensin type 1A receptors on C1 neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla is required for the pressor response to microinjection of angiotensin. Furthermore loss of these receptors from C1 neurons reduces the sustained pressor response to aversive stress
    (Chen D…Allen AM: Angiotensin type 1A receptors in C1 neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla modulate the pressor response to aversive stress. J Neurosci 2012; 32: 2051-2061).
  • Expression of angiotensin type 1A receptors on catecholaminergic neurons is required for the full expression of angiotensin-dependent hypertension
    (Jancovski N…Allen AM: Stimulation of angiotensin type 1A receptors on catecholaminergic cells contributes to angiotensin-dependent hypertension. Hypertension 2013; 62: 866-871).

Research Group

Allen laboratory: Central cardiovascular regulation



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Biomedical Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Physiology

Unit / Centre

Allen laboratory: Central cardiovascular regulation