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The vasopressor action of angiotensin II (ANG II) in ball pythons (Python regius)

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Angiotensin II (ANG II) is part of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in vertebrates and exert vasoconstriction in all species studied. The present study examines the vasopressor effect of ANG II in the ball python (Python regius), and examines whether ANG II exert its effect through direct angiotensin receptors or through an activation of α-adrenergic receptors. The studies were conducted in snakes with chronic arterial catheters that had recovered from anesthesia. In addition to demonstrating a clear and pronounced dose-dependent rise in arterial blood pressure upon repeated injections of boluses with ANG II (0.001–1 μg/kg), we demonstrate that the pressor response persisted following α-adrenergic blockade using the α-adrenergic antagonist phentolamine (2.5 mg/kg). Unfortunately, it proved impossible to block the ANG receptors using losartan (1, 3 or even 10 mg/kg). The pressor response to ANG II was associated with a significant rise in heart rate at the higher dosages, pointing to a resetting of the barostatic mechanism for heart rate regulation. The responses were similar in fasting and digesting pythons despite the expected rise in baseline values for blood pressure and heart rate of the digesting snakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110839
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Adrenergic regulation, ANG II receptors, Blood pressure, Cardiovascular, Digestion, Fasting, Heart rate, Phentolamine, Reptile

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