The arcuate nucleus: A site of synergism between Angiotensin II and leptin to increase sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure in rats

Zhigang Shi, Ruth L. Stornetta, Daniel S. Stornetta, Stephen B.G. Abbott, Virginia L. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The action of leptin in brain to increase sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and blood pressure depends upon functional Angiotensin II (AngII) type 1a receptors (AT1aR); however, the sites and mechanism of interaction are unknown. Here we identify one site, the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ArcN), since prior local blockade of AT1aR in the ArcN with losartan or candesartan in anesthetized male rats essentially eliminated the sympathoexcitatory and pressor responses to ArcN leptin nanoinjections. Unlike mice, in male and female rats, AT1aR and LepR rarely co-localized, suggesting that this interdependence occurs indirectly, via a local interneuron or network of neurons. ArcN leptin increases SNA by activating pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) inputs to the PVN, but this activation requires simultaneous suppression of tonic PVN Neuropeptide Y (NPY) sympathoinhibition. Because AngII-AT1aR inhibits ArcN NPY neurons, we propose that loss of AT1aR suppression of NPY blocks leptin-induced increases in SNA; in other words, ArcN-AngII-AT1aR is a gatekeeper for leptin-induced sympathoexcitation. With obesity, both leptin and AngII increase; therefore, the increased AT1aR activation could open the gate, allowing leptin (and insulin) to drive sympathoexcitation unabated, leading to hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number136773
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume785
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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