Antidepressant-like effect of losartan involves TRKB transactivation from angiotensin receptor type 2 (AGTR2) and recruitment of FYN

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  • Cassiano R A F Diniz, School of Medicine, Campus USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14049-900, Brazil. Electronic address: cassianodiniz4@hotmail.com.
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  • Plinio C Casarotto, School of Medicine, Campus USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14049-900, Brazil; Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: plinio@gmx.com.
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  • Senem M Fred, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: merve.fred@helsinki.fi.
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  • Caroline Biojone, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland; Department of Physics and Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Campus USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-904, Brazil. Electronic address: caroline.biojone@helsinki.fi.
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  • Eero Castrén, Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: eero.castren@helsinki.fi.
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  • Sâmia R L Joca

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is associated with peripheral fluid homeostasis and cardiovascular function, but recent evidence also suggests a functional role in the brain. RAS regulates physiological and behavioral parameters related to the stress response, including depressive symptoms. Apparently, RAS can modulate levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TRKB, which are important in the neurobiology of depression and antidepressant action. However, the interaction between the BDNF/TRKB system and RAS in depression has not been investigated before. Accordingly, in the forced swimming test, we observed an antidepressant-like effect of systemic losartan but not with captopril or enalapril treatment. Moreover, infusion of losartan into the ventral hippocampus (vHC) and prelimbic prefrontal cortex (PL) mimicked the consequences of systemically injected losartan, whereas K252a (a blocker of TRK) infused into these brain areas impaired such effect. PD123319, an antagonist of AT2 receptor (AGTR2), also prevented the systemic losartan effect when infused into PL but not into vHC. Cultured cortical cells of rat embryos revealed that angiotensin II (ANG2), possibly through AGTR2, increased the surface levels of TRKB and its coupling to FYN, a SRC family kinase. Higher Agtr2 levels in cortical cells were reduced after stimulation with glutamate, and only under this condition an interaction between losartan and ANG2 was achieved. TRKB/AGTR2 heterodimers were also observed, in MG87 cells GFP-tagged AGTR2 co-immunoprecipitated with TRKB. Therefore, the antidepressant-like effect of losartan is proposed to occur through a shift of ANG2 towards AGTR2, followed by coupling of TRK/FYN and putative TRKB transactivation. Thus, the blockade of AGTR1 has therapeutic potential as a novel antidepressant therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume135
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
ISSN0028-3908
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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