Article: article from journal or magazin.
Angiotensinergic and noradrenergic neurons in the rat and human heart.
Publication types: Journal Article
Although the physiological and pharmacological evidences suggest a role for angiotensin II (Ang II) with the mammalian heart, the source and precise location of Ang II are unknown. To visualize and quantitate Ang II in atria, ventricular walls and interventricular septum of the rat and human heart and to explore the feasibility of local Ang II production and function, we investigated by different methods the expression of proteins involved in the generation and function of Ang II. We found mRNA of angiotensinogen (Ang-N), of angiotensin converting enzyme, of the angiotensin type receptors AT(1A) and AT(2) (AT(1B) not detected) as well as of cathepsin D in any part of the hearts. No renin mRNA was traceable. Ang-N mRNA was visualized by in situ hybridization in atrial ganglial neurons. Ang II and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) were either colocalized inside the same neuronal cell or the neurons were specialized for Ang II or DβH. Within these neurons, the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) was neither colocalized with Ang II nor DβH, but VAChT-staining was found with synapses en passant encircle these neuronal cells. The fibers containing Ang II exhibited with blood vessels and with cardiomyocytes supposedly angiotensinergic synapses en passant. In rat heart, right atrial median Ang II concentration appeared higher than septal and ventricular Ang II. The distinct colocalization of neuronal Ang II with DβH in the heart may indicate that Ang II participates together with norepinephrine in the regulation of cardiac functions: Produced as a cardiac neurotransmitter Ang II may have inotropic, chronotropic or dromotropic effects in atria and ventricles and contributes to blood pressure regulation.
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