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We report here a comparative analysis of the involvement of a number of components of the renin-angiotensin system in the performance of simple and complex forms of drinking behavior and thirst-associated non-drinking types of behavior. On central (intracerebroventricular) microinjection, [des-Asp1]-angiotensin I at doses equieffective to those of angiotensins II and III was found to be involved only in the performance of simple (taking water from the bowl) and linked forms of activity (comfort behavior, stress grooming, orientational-investigative, and feeding behavior). Angiotensin II was involved in the central mechanisms of complex acquired drinking behavior, selectively modulating its key stages (initial, final), while angiotensin III was involved only in the mechanisms of reproduction of the complex skill. All three substances induced “innate patterns of behavior” specific for each compound, these occurring at fixed periods of time after intracerebral microinjection. The effects of these substances were selectively suppressed by the AT1 receptor blocker losartan potassium.