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Genetic Deletion of β-Arrestin 2 From the Subfornical Organ and Other Periventricular Nuclei in the Brain Alters Fluid Homeostasis and Blood Pressure.

Hypertension 2024 April 18
BACKGROUND: ANG (angiotensin II) elicits dipsogenic and pressor responses via activation of the canonical Gαq (G-protein component of the AT1 R [angiotensin type 1 receptor])-mediated AT1 R in the subfornical organ. Recently, we demonstrated that ARRB2 (β-arrestin 2) global knockout mice exhibit a higher preference for salt and exacerbated pressor response to deoxycorticosterone acetate salt. However, whether ARRB2 within selective neuroanatomical nuclei alters physiological responses to ANG is unknown. Therefore, we hypothesized that ARRB2, specifically in the subfornical organ, counterbalances maladaptive dipsogenic and pressor responses to the canonical AT1 R signaling.

METHODS: Male and female Arrb2 FLOX mice received intracerebroventricular injection of either adeno-associated virus (AAV)-Cre-GFP (green fluorescent protein) to induce brain-specific deletion of ARRB2 ( Arrb2 ICV-Cre ). Arrb2 FLOX mice receiving ICV-AAV-GFP were used as control ( Arrb2 ICV-Control ). Infection with ICV-AAV-Cre primarily targeted the subfornical organ with few off targets. Fluid intake was evaluated using the 2-bottle choice paradigm with 1 bottle containing water and 1 containing 0.15 mol/L NaCl.

RESULTS: Arrb2 ICV-Cre mice exhibited a greater pressor response to acute ICV-ANG infusion. At baseline conditions, Arrb2 ICV-Cre mice exhibited a significant increase in saline intake compared with controls, resulting in a saline preference. Furthermore, when mice were subjected to water-deprived or sodium-depleted conditions, which would naturally increase endogenous ANG levels, Arrb2 ICV-Cre mice exhibited elevated saline intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these data indicate that ARRB2 in selective cardiovascular nuclei in the brain, including the subfornical organ, counterbalances canonical AT1 R responses to both exogenous and endogenous ANG. Stimulation of the AT1 R/ARRB axis in the brain may represent a novel strategy to treat hypertension.

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