Angiotensin II Regulates Excitability and Contractile Functions of Myocardium and Smooth Muscles through Autonomic Nervous Transmission

Yakugaku zasshi : Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
Fumiko YamakiYoshio Tanaka


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is an intrinsic peptide having strong vasopressor effects, and thus, it plays an important role in the physiological regulation of blood pressure. The vasopressor effects of Ang II include direct contraction of myocardium and vascular smooth muscles (SMs) along with aldosterone-mediated sodium retention. In addition, indirect vascular contractions induced by noradrenaline (NA), the release of which is mediated through Ang II receptor type 1 (AT1) existing at the sympathetic nerve terminals (SNTs), also contribute to the vasopressor effects of Ang II. Stimulation of NA release from SNTs by Ang II also occurs in the myocardium leading to an increase in heart rate and cardiac contraction. Furthermore, Ang II enhances the contractions of non-vascular SMs, such as vas deferens, through induction of NA release from the SNTs. We have found that Ang II attenuated vagus nerve stimulation-induced bradycardia in a losartan-sensitive manner. This suggests that Ang II attenuates vagus nerve stimulation-induced bradycardia by inhibiting acetylcholine (ACh) release from the parasympathetic nerve terminals (PNTs) through activation of the AT1 receptor. Ang II was also reported to attenuate the release of ACh from the PN...Continue Reading


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