In utero development of central ANG-stimulated pressor response and hypothalamic fos expression

Zhice Xu, Lijun Shi, Fang Hu, Rodney White, Lauren Stewart, Jiaming Yao

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Central renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is as important as the peripheral RAS in the control of the cardiovascular homeostasis in the adult. However, previous fetal studies on angiotensin II (ANG II)-induced cardiovascular responses focused exclusively on the peripheral side. Thus, few data exist characterizing the in utero development of central angiotensin-mediated pressor responses. The present study determined cardiovascular responses to central application of ANG II in the chronically prepared near-term ovine fetus, and determined the action sites marked by c-fos expression in the fetal hypothalamus following intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of ANG II in utero. ANG II significantly increased fetal systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) within 5 min after injection of this peptide into the brain. Adjusted fetal MAP against amniotic pressure was also increased by icv ANG II, associated with increased c-fos in the central putative cardiovascular area--the paraventricular nuclei (PVN). Application of ANG II also induced intense c-fos expression in the supraoptic nuclei (SON), accompanied by a significant increase of fetal plasma vasopressin (AVP) levels, while maternal blood pressure (BP) and plasma AVP concentration were not changed. These results indicate that the central ANG II-mediated pressor response is functional at the last third of gestation, acting at the sites consistent with the cardiovascular neural network in the hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Research
Pages (from-to)169-76
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2003


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