High blood pressure. Causes, symptoms, treatments

DETA/NONOate, a nitric oxide donor, produces antidepressant effects by promoting hippocampal neurogenesis.


The angiotensin II (AII) specific monoclonal antibody KAA8--a selective functional AII antagonist and a hypotensive agent in high renin hypertensive rats--did not lower blood pressure in conscious normotensive rats (NRs) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). The non-peptide AII receptor antagonist DuP 753 decreased blood pressure significantly in SHRs but not in NRs. These results suggest the involvement of locally released AII in the control of blood pressure in SHRs but not in NRs.

While angiotensin II (Ang II) plays a major role in the regulation of blood pressure, fluid homeostasis and neuroendocrine function, recent studies have also implicated the peptide hormone in cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. In support of this, we have previously demonstrated that Ang II attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling [Molec. Brain Res. 48 (1997) 197]. To further examine the modulatory role of Ang II on NMDA receptor function, we investigated the effect of angiotensin receptor (AT) activation on NMDA-mediated cell death and the accompanying decrease in Bcl-2 expression. The viability of differentiated N1E-115 and NG108-15 neuronal cell lines was reduced following exposure to NMDA in a dose-dependent manner. MTT analysis (mitochondrial integrity) revealed a decrease in cell survival of 49.4+/-12.3% in NG108 cells and 79.9+/-6.8% in N1E cells following treatment with 10 mM NMDA for 20 h. Cytotoxicity in N1E cells was inhibited by the noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801. Further, NMDA receptor-mediated cell death in NG108 cells was attenuated by treatment with Ang II. The Ang II effect was inhibited by both AT1 and AT2 receptor antagonists, losartan and PD123319, respectively, suggesting that both receptor subtypes may play a role in the survival effect of Ang II. Since it has been shown that activation of NMDA receptors alters the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins, Western blot analysis was performed in N1E cells to determine whether Ang II alters the NMDA-induced changes in Bcl-2 expression. A concentration-dependent decrease of intracellular Bcl-2 protein levels was observed following treatment with NMDA, and this reduction was inhibited by MK801. Addition of Ang II suppressed the NMDA receptor-mediated reduction in Bcl-2. The Ang II effect on NMDA-mediated changes in Bcl-2 levels was blocked by PD123319, but was not significantly changed by losartan, suggesting AT2 receptor specificity. Taken together, these results suggest that Ang II attenuates NMDA receptor-mediated neurotoxicity and that this effect may be due, in part, to an alteration in Bcl-2 expression.

PCR analysis demonstrated the expression of angiotensinogen and the AT(1b) receptor in HNPE cells. A large conductance potassium (BK) channel (mean 190 (SEM 5.6) pS, n = 22 cells), was observed in plasma membrane patches. This channel was calcium sensitive with channel open probability (Po) increasing with increasing Ca(2+)(I) (K(0.5) 10.79 (0.44) microM Ca(2+), Hill coefficient of 1.04 (0.04)). AII (100 nM) increased the number (N) of active BK channels in HNPE cells and also the probability of channel opening (Po). N.P(o) increased from 0.008 (0.002) to 1.38 (0.4) following the addition of AII (p=0.0064). AII also induced a rapid rise in Ca(2+)(I) from resting values of 112 (14) nM to a peak of 992 (106) nM (p<10(-4)). A simultaneous cell volume reduction of 24.70% (3.34%) (p<10(-4)) occurred during this calcium signal. Losartan (1 microM) significantly blocked the AII induced BK channel activation (p=0.0131), the Ca(2+)(I) response (p<10(-4)), and the AII induced volume effect (p=0.0046).

Eighteen healthy Chinese female volunteers were recruited. In an open-label, 2-phase study, losartan 50 mg was given to each subject, with and without soy extract. Plasma concentrations of losartan and E-3174 were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for 12 and 24 hours, respectively. On day 8 through day 21 of the study, following a 7-day washout period, each subject consumed two 1000-mg Genistein Soy Complex tablets orally after meals, twice daily, for 14 days. On day 22, all volunteers received losartan 50 mg and blood samples were collected again.

The intrarenal renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important role in the progression of diabetic nephropathy. We have previously reported that mice overexpressing angiotensinogen in renal proximal tubular cells (RPTC) develop hypertension, albuminuria, and renal injury. Here, we investigated whether activation of the intrarenal RAS contributes to apoptosis of RPTC in diabetes. Induction of diabetes with streptozotocin in these transgenic mice led to significant increases in BP, albuminuria, RPTC apoptosis, and proapoptotic gene expression compared with diabetic nontransgenic littermates. Insulin and/or RAS blockers markedly attenuated these changes. Hydralazine prevented hypertension but not albuminuria, RPTC apoptosis, or proapoptotic gene expression. In vitro, high-glucose medium significantly increased apoptosis and caspase-3 activity in rat immortalized RPTC overexpressing angiotensinogen compared with control cells, and these changes were prevented by insulin and/or RAS blockers. In conclusion, intrarenal RAS activation and high glucose may act in concert to increase tubular apoptosis in diabetes, independent of systemic hypertension.