Mapping the distribution of angiotensin receptors in the brain

Project Details

With Professor Mendelsohn, former Director of the Howard Florey Institute, we mapped the distribution of receptors for angiotensin II throughout the central nervous system of a number of mammals, including humans
(Allen AM, Oldfield, BJ, Giles ME, Paxinos G, McKinley MJ, Mendelsohn FAO: Localization of angiotensin receptors in the nervous system, in Quirion R, Bjorklund A, Hokfelt T (eds): Peptide Receptors: An Update: The Handbook of Chemical Neuroanatomy. Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2000: 79-124).

Our description of the distribution of angiotensin receptors in the human brainstem is a critical component of the knowledge regarding the anatomy and function of this part of the human brain.

(Allen AM, Chai SY, Clevers J, McKinley MJ, Paxinos G, Mendelsohn FAO: Localization and characterization of angiotensin II receptor binding and angiotensin converting enzyme in the human medulla oblongata. J Comp Neurol 1988; 269: 249-264).

imaging angiotensin receptors in the human medulla oblongata

Figure 1: Angiotensin receptors in the human medulla oblongata.

This pseudo-colour image shows the distribution of angiotensin AT1 receptors in a coronal section of the human medulla oblongata. The image was obtained using the method of quantitative in vitro autoradiography. Red indicates high concentrations of the receptor graded down to blue being background, or undetectable, receptor levels. The red/yellow area at the top of the section is the nucleus of the solitary tract, a sensory nucleus that receives information about visceral (heart, lungs, gut etc.) function and which is important for the regulation of blood pressure. The yellow/green dots moving towards the edge of the section are the ventrolateral medulla. This region is critical for the regulation of nervous activity to blood vessels and plays a key role in the regulation of cardiovascular function.

Research Group

Allen laboratory: Central cardiovascular regulation

Faculty Research Themes


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

Anatomy and Physiology

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