Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 in the Rostral Ventrolateral Medulla Regulates Cholinergic Signaling and Cardiovascular and Sympathetic Responses in Hypertensive Rats
Yu Deng1,3 • Xing Tan1,2 • Miao-Ling Li4 • Wei-Zhong Wang1,2 • Yang-Kai Wang1,2,*
1Department of Physiology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
2Institution of Polar Medicine Research Center, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
3Department of Anesthesiology, Changhai Hospital, Shanghai, China
4Institute of Cardiovascular Medical Research, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, China
The rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) is a key region in cardiovascular regulation. It has been demonstrated that cholinergic synaptic transmission in the RVLM is enhanced in hypertensive rats. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the brain plays beneficial roles in cardiovascular function in hypertension. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of ACE2 overexpression in the RVLM on cholinergic synaptic transmission in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Four weeks after injecting lentiviral particles containing enhanced green fluorescent protein and ACE2 bilaterally into the RVLM, the blood pressure and heart rate were notably decreased. ACE2 overexpression significantly reduced the concentration of acetylcholine in microdialysis fluid from the RVLM and blunted the decrease in blood pressure evoked by bilateral injection of atropine into the RVLM in SHRs. In conclusion, we suggest that ACE2 overexpression in the RVLM attenuates the enhanced cholinergic synaptic transmission in SHRs.