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1.  EFFECT OF AT1 RECEPTOR BLOCKADE ON INTERMITTENT HYPOXIA-INDUCED ENDOTHELIAL DYSFUNCTION 
Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) raises arterial pressure, impairs vasodilator responsiveness, and increases circulating angiotensin II (Ang II); however, the role of Ang II in CIH-induced vascular dysfunction is unknown. Rats were exposed to CIH or room air (NORM), and a subset of these animals was treated with losartan (Los) during the exposure period. After 28 days, vasodilatory responses to acetylcholine or nitroprusside were measured in isolated gracilis arteries. Superoxide levels and Ang II receptor protein expression were measured in saphenous arteries. After 28 days, arterial pressure was increased and acetylcholine-induced vasodilation was blunted in CIH vs. NORM, and this was prevented by Los. Responses to nitroprusside and superoxide levels did not differ between CIH and NORM. Expression of AT2R was decreased and the AT1R:AT2R ratio was increased in CIH vs. NORM, but this was unaffected by Los. These results indicate that the blood pressure elevation and endothelial dysfunction associated with CIH is dependent, at least in part, on RAS signaling.
doi:10.1016/j.resp.2012.05.025
PMCID: PMC3409315  PMID: 22728949
Intermittent hypoxia; Endothelial function; Angiotensin II
2.  CHRONIC INTERMITTENT HYPOXIA AUGMENTS CHEMOREFLEX CONTROL OF SYMPATHETIC ACTIVITY: ROLE OF THE ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR 
Chronic exposure to intermittent hypoxia (CIH) increases carotid sinus nerve activity in normoxia and in response to acute hypoxia. We hypothesized that CIH augments basal and chemoreflex-stimulated sympathetic outflow through an angiotensin receptor-dependent mechanism. Rats were exposed to CIH for 28 days: a subset was treated with losartan. Then, lumbar sympathetic activity was recorded under anesthesia during 20-second apneas, isocapnic hypoxia, and potassium cyanide. We measured carotid body superoxide production and expression of angiotensin II type-1 receptor, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and NADPH oxidase. Sympathetic activity was higher in CIH vs. control rats at baseline, during apneas and isocapnic hypoxia, but not cyanide. Carotid body superoxide production and expression of angiotensin II type 1 receptor and gp91phox subunit of NADPH oxidase were elevated in CIH rats, whereas expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase was reduced. None of these differences were evident in animals treated with losartan. CIH-induced augmentation of chemoreflex sensitivity occurs, at least in part, via the renin-angiotensin system.
doi:10.1016/j.resp.2010.02.003
PMCID: PMC2846996  PMID: 20153844
chemoreceptors; angiotensin II; superoxide; angiotensin antagonist; oxidative stress
3.  CAROTID BODY FUNCTION IN HEART FAILURE 
In this review, we summarize the present state of knowledge of the functional characteristics of the carotid body (CB) chemoreflex with respect to control of sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) in chronic heart failure (CHF). Evidence from both CHF patients and animal models of CHF has clearly established that the CB chemoreflex is enhanced in CHF and contributes to the tonic elevation in SNA. This adaptive change derives from altered function at the level of both the afferent and central nervous system (CNS) pathways of the reflex arc. At the level of the CB, an elevation in basal afferent discharge occurs under normoxic conditions in CHF rabbits, and the discharge responsiveness to hypoxia is enhanced. Outward voltage-gated K+ currents (IK) are suppressed in CB glomus cells from CHF rabbits, and their sensitivity to hypoxic inhibition is enhanced. These changes in IK derive partly from downregulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) / NO signaling and upregulation of angiotensin II (Ang II) / Ang II receptor (AT1R) signaling in glomus cells. At the level of the CNS, interactions of the enhanced input from CB chemoreceptors with altered input from baroreceptor and cardiac afferent pathways and from central Ang II further enhance sympathetic drive. In addition, impaired function of NO in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus participates in the increased SNA response to CB chemoreceptor activation. These results underscore the principle that multiple mechanisms involving Ang II and NO at the level of both the CB and CNS represent complementary and perhaps redundant adaptive mechanisms to enhance CB chemoreflex function in CHF.
doi:10.1016/j.resp.2007.02.011
PMCID: PMC1965591  PMID: 17374517

Results 1-3 (3)