Evidence of changes in alpha-1/AT1 receptor function generated by diet-induced obesity

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To study whether hypercaloric diet–induced obesity deteriorates vascular contractility of rat aorta through functional changes in α1 adrenergic and/or AT1 Angiotensin II receptors. Angiotensin II- or phenylephrine-induced contraction was tested on isolated aorta rings with and without endothelium from female Wistar rats fed for 7 weeks with hypercaloric diet or standard diet. Vascular expression of Angiotensin II Receptor type 1 (AT1R), Angiotensin II Receptor type 2 (AT2R), Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) and endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (eNOS), as well as blood pressure, glucose, insulin and angiotensin II blood levels were measured. Diet-induced obesity did not significantly change agonist-induced contractions (Emax and pD2 hypercaloric diet vs standard diet n.s.d.) of both intact (e+) or endothelium free (e−) vessels but significantly decrease both phenylephrine and angiotensin II contraction (Emax p < 0.01 hypercaloric diet vs standard diet) in the presence of both prazosin and losartan but only in endothelium-intact vessels. Diet-induced obesity did not change angiotensin II AT1, AT2 receptor proteins expression but reduced COX-1 and NOS2 (p < 0.05 vs standard diet). Seven-week hypercaloric diet–induced obesity produces alterations in vascular adrenergic and angiotensin II receptor dynamics that suggest an endothelium-dependent adrenergic/angiotensin II crosstalk. These changes reflect early-stage vascular responses to obesity.

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