A M Allen

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Are you A M Allen?

Claim your profile

Publications (95)347.52 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Coordinated modulation of sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous activity is required for physiological regulation of tissue function. Anatomically, whilst the peripheral sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways are separate, the distribution of premotor neurons in higher brain regions often overlaps. This co-distribution would enable coordinated regulation and might suggest individual premotor neurons could project to both sympathetic and parasympathetic outflows. To investigate this one submandibular gland was sympathectomized. One of two isogenic strains of the pseudorabies virus, expressing different fluorophores, was injected into the cut sympathetic nerve and the other into the submandibular gland. Independent labeling of the peripheral sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways was observed. Dual-labeled neurons were observed in many CNS regions known to be involved in regulating salivary function. We propose these observations highlight a common pattern of organization of the CNS, providing the anatomical framework for the fine control of organ function required for homeostatic regulation and the coordination of organ responses to enable complex behaviors.
    Brain Structure and Function 05/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic targets for male contraception are associated with numerous problems due to their focus on disrupting spermatogenesis or hormonal mechanisms to produce dysfunctional sperm. Here we describe the dual genetic deletion of α1A-adrenergic G protein-coupled receptors (adrenoceptors) and P2X1-purinoceptor ligand gated ion channels in male mice, thereby blocking sympathetically mediated sperm transport through the vas deferens during the emission phase of ejaculation. This modification produced 100% infertility without effects on sexual behavior or function. Sperm taken from the cauda epididymides of double knockout mice were microscopically normal and motile. Furthermore, double knockout sperm were capable of producing normal offspring following intracytoplasmic sperm injection into wild-type ova and implantation of the fertilized eggs into foster mothers. Blood pressure and baroreflex function was reduced in double knockout mice, but no more than single knockout of α1A-adrenoceptors alone. These results suggest that this autonomic method of male contraception appears free of major physiological and behavioral side effects. In addition, they provide conclusive proof of concept that pharmacological antagonism of the P2X1-purinoceptor and α1A-adrenoceptor provides a safe and effective therapeutic target for a nonhormonal, readily reversible male contraceptive.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The baroreceptor reflex dampens the short-term fluctuations in blood pressure by feedback modulation of heart rate (HR) and vascular resistance. Impairment of this reflex has been observed in hypertension and heart failure. Angiotensin II, a blood borne hormone, acts via its type 1A receptor to attenuate the baroreceptor reflex and this reflex is reported to be dramatically altered in angiotensin type 1A receptor knockout mice. This study sought to further investigate changes in the arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreceptor reflex control of HR in angiotensin II type 1A receptor knocked out mice. In artificially ventilated, isoflurane anesthetized mice, the arterial and cardiopulmonary baroreceptor reflexes were activated via injection or slow infusions, respectively, of phenylephrine and sodium nitroprusside through the jugular vein. We observed no impairment of either the arterial or cardiopulmonary baroreceptor reflex control of HR in angiotensin type 1A receptor knockout mice.
    Physiological reports. 11/2013; 1(6):e00171.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hypertension contributes to multiple forms of cardiovascular disease and thus morbidity and mortality. The mechanisms inducing hypertension remain unclear although the involvement of homeostatic systems, such as the renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous systems, is established. A pivotal role of the angiotensin type 1 receptor in the proximal tubule of the kidney for the development of experimental hypertension is established. Yet, other systems are involved. This study tests whether the expression of angiotensin type 1A receptors in catecholaminergic cells contributes to hypertension development. Using a Cre-lox approach, we deleted the angiotensin type 1A receptor from all catecholaminergic cells. This deletion did not alter basal metabolism or blood pressure but delayed the onset of angiotensin-dependent hypertension and reduced the maximal response. Cardiac hypertrophy was also reduced. The knockout mice showed attenuated activation of the sympathetic nervous system during angiotensin II infusion as measured by spectral analysis of the blood pressure. Increased reactive oxygen species production was observed in forebrain regions, including the subfornical organ, of the knockout mouse but was markedly reduced in the rostral ventrolateral medulla. These studies demonstrate that stimulation of the angiotensin type 1A receptor on catecholaminergic cells is required for the full development of angiotensin-dependent hypertension and support an important role for the sympathetic nervous system in this model.
    Hypertension 09/2013; · 6.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is important for cardiovascular regulation and contains angiotensin type 1A receptors (AT1AR). To assess function, we examined the effect of expressing in AT1AR in the NTS of mice lacking these receptors. Bilateral microinjections of lentivirus expressing AT1AR (AT1Av mice, n=6) or green fluorescent protein (GFPv, n=8, control) under the control of the PRSx8 promotor, were made into the NTS of AT1AR null mice (AT1A-/-). Telemetry devices recorded blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and locomotor activity. Expression of AT1AR in the NTS increased BP by 11.2±4 mmHg (P<0.05) at 2 and 3 weeks, while GFPv mice remained at pre-injection BP. Ganglion blockade reduced BP to similar levels pre- and post-transfection in GFPv and AT1Av mice. Greater pressor responses to cage-switch stress were observed following AT1AR expression (+18±2 mmHg pre- to +24±2 mmHg post-virus, P<0.05) with similar stress-induced pressor responses pre- and post-virus in GFPv mice. Pressor responses to restraint stress pre- and post-virus were similar in AT1Av but were 20% less post GFPv (P<0.001). The lack of attenuation in BP to restraint was associated with 4-fold greater Fos-expression in AT1AR mice. AT1AR expression in the NTS did not alter baroreflex gain differently between groups. The results suggest that transfection of AT1AR on neurons in the NTS elevates BP independent of the SNS and pressor responses to aversive stimuli are associated with greater Fos-expression in forebrain regions. This study suggests a novel mechanism by which the NTS may modulate MAP in the long-term via AT1AR.
    Cardiovascular research 07/2013; · 5.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Following its generation by both systemic and tissue-based renin-angiotensin systems, angiotensin II interacts with specific, G-protein coupled receptors to modulate multiple physiological systems, including the cardiovascular system. Genetic models in which the different components of the renin-angiotensin system have been deleted show large changes in resting blood pressure. Interruption of the generation of angiotensin II, or its interaction with these receptors, decreases blood pressure in hypertensive humans and experimental animal models of hypertension. Whilst the interaction of angiotensin II with the kidney is pivotal in this modulation of blood pressure, an involvement of the system in other tissues is important. Both systemic angiotensins, acting via the blood-brain barrier deficient circumventricular organs, and centrally-generated angiotensin modulate cardiovascular control by regulating fluid and electrolyte ingestion, autonomic activity and neuroendocrine function. This review discusses the pathways in the brain that are involved in this regulation of blood pressure as well as examining the sites in which altered angiotensin function might contribute to the development and maintenance of high blood pressure.
    Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical 02/2013; · 1.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM) is important for autonomic regulation and is rich in angiotensin II type 1A receptors (AT(1A)R). To determine their function, we examined whether the expression of AT(1A)R in the CVLM of mice lacking AT(1A)R (AT(1A)(-/-)) alters baroreflex sensitivity and cardiovascular responses to stress. Bilateral microinjections into the CVLM of AT(1A)(-/-) mice of lentivirus with the phox-2 selective promoter (PRSx8) were made to express either AT(1A)R (Lv-PRSx8-AT(1A)) or green fluorescent protein (Lv-PRSx8-GFP) as a control. Radiotelemetry was used to record mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), and locomotor activity. Following injection of Lv-PRSx8-GFP, robust neuronal expression of GFP was observed with ∼60% of the GFP-positive cells also expressing the catecholamine-synthetic enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase. After 5 weeks, there were no differences in MAP or HR between groups, but the Lv-PRSx8-AT(1A)- injected mice showed reduced baroreflex sensitivity (-25%, P = 0.003) and attenuated pressor responses to cage-switch and restraint stress compared with the Lv-PRSx8-GFP-injected mice. Reduced MAP mid-frequency power during cage-switch stress reflected attenuated sympathetic activation (Pgroup × stress = 0.04). Fos-immunohistochemistry indicated greater activation of forebrain and hypothalamic neurons in the Lv-PRSx8-AT(1A) mice compared with the control. The expression of AT(1A)R in CVLM neurons, including A1 neurons, while having little influence on the basal blood pressure or HR, may play a tonic role in inhibiting cardiac vagal baroreflex sensitivity. However, they strongly facilitate the forebrain response to aversive stress, yet reduce the pressor response presumably through greater sympatho-inhibition. These findings outline novel and specific roles for angiotensin II in the CVLM in autonomic regulation.
    Cardiovascular research 08/2012; 96(2):330-9. · 5.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in vasoregulation is well established, but a localized RAS exists in multiple tissues and exerts diverse functions including autonomic control and thermogenesis. The role of the RAS in the maintenance and function of skeletal muscle is not well understood, especially the role of angiotensin peptides, which appear to contribute to muscle atrophy. We tested the hypothesis that mice lacking the angiotensin type 1A receptor (AT(1A)(-/-)) would exhibit enhanced whole body and skeletal muscle function and improved regeneration after severe injury. Despite 18- to 20-wk-old AT(1A)(-/-) mice exhibiting reduced muscle mass compared with controls (P < 0.05), the tibialis anterior (TA) muscles produced a 25% higher maximum specific (normalized) force (P < 0.05). Average fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) and fiber oxidative capacity was not different between groups, but TA muscles from AT(1A)(-/-) mice had a reduced number of muscle fibers as well as a higher proportion of type IIx/b fibers and a lower proportion of type IIa fibers (P < 0.05). Measures of whole body function (grip strength, rotarod performance, locomotor activity) were all improved in AT(1A)(-/-) mice (P < 0.05). Surprisingly, the recovery of muscle mass and fiber CSA following myotoxic injury was impaired in AT(1A)(-/-) mice, in part by impaired myoblast fusion, prolonged collagen infiltration and inflammation, and delayed expression of myogenic regulatory factors. The findings support the therapeutic potential of RAS inhibition for enhancing whole body and skeletal muscle function, but they also reveal the importance of RAS signaling in the maintenance of muscle mass and for normal fiber repair after injury.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 06/2012; 303(3):R321-31. · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In heart failure (HF), cardiac sympathetic nerve activity (SNA; CSNA) is increased, which has detrimental effects on the heart and promotes arrhythmias and sudden death. There is evidence that the central renin-angiotensin system plays an important role in stimulating renal SNA in HF. Because SNA to individual organs is differentially controlled, we have investigated whether central angiotensin receptor blockade decreases CSNA in HF. We simultaneously recorded CSNA and renal SNA in conscious normal sheep and in sheep with HF induced by rapid ventricular pacing (ejection fraction: <40%). The effect of blockade of central angiotensin type 1 receptors by intracerebroventricular infusion of losartan (1 mg/h for 5 hours) on resting levels and baroreflex control of CSNA and renal SNA were determined. In addition, the levels of angiotensin receptors in central autonomic nuclei were determined using autoradiography. Sheep in HF had a large increase in CSNA (43±2 to 88±3 bursts per 100 heart beats; P<0.05) and heart rate, with no effect on renal SNA. In HF, central infusion of losartan for 5 hours significantly reduced the baseline levels of CSNA (to 69±5 bursts per 100 heart beats) and heart rate. Losartan had no effect in normal animals. In HF, angiotensin receptor levels were increased in the paraventricular nucleus and supraoptic nucleus but reduced in the area postrema and nucleus tractus solitarius. In summary, infusion of losartan reduced the elevated levels of CNSA in an ovine model of HF, indicating that central angiotensin receptors play a critical role in stimulating the increased sympathetic activity to the heart.
    Hypertension 03/2012; 59(3):634-41. · 6.87 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The rise in blood pressure during an acute aversive stress has been suggested to involve activation of angiotensin type 1A receptors (AT(1A)Rs) at various sites within the brain, including the rostral ventrolateral medulla. In this study we examine the involvement of AT(1A)Rs associated with a subclass of sympathetic premotor neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla, the C1 neurons. The distribution of putative AT(1A)R-expressing cells was mapped throughout the brains of three transgenic mice with a bacterial artificial chromosome-expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of the AT(1A)R promoter. The overall distribution correlated with that of the AT(1A)Rs mapped by other methods and demonstrated that the majority of C1 neurons express the AT(1A)R. Cre-recombinase expression in C1 neurons of AT(1A)R-floxed mice enabled demonstration that the pressor response to microinjection of angiotensin II into the rostral ventrolateral medulla is dependent upon expression of the AT(1A)R in these neurons. Lentiviral-induced expression of wild-type AT(1A)Rs in C1 neurons of global AT(1A)R knock-out mice, implanted with radiotelemeter devices for recording blood pressure, modulated the pressor response to aversive stress. During prolonged cage-switch stress, expression of AT(1A)Rs in C1 neurons induced a greater sustained pressor response when compared to the control viral-injected group (22 ± 4 mmHg for AT(1A)R vs 10 ± 1 mmHg for GFP; p < 0.001), which was restored toward that of the wild-type group (28 ± 2 mmHg). This study demonstrates that AT(1A)R expression by C1 neurons is essential for the pressor response to angiotensin II and that this pathway plays an important role in the pressor response to aversive stress.
    Journal of Neuroscience 02/2012; 32(6):2051-61. · 6.91 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: C3 neurons constitute one of three known adrenergic nuclei in the rat central nervous system (CNS). While the adrenergic C1 cell group has been extensively characterized both physiologically and anatomically, the C3 nucleus has remained relatively obscure. This study employed a lentiviral tracing technique that expresses green fluorescent protein behind a promoter selective to noradrenergic and adrenergic neurons. Microinjection of this virus into the C3 nucleus enabled the selective tracing of C3 efferents throughout the rat CNS, thus revealing the anatomical framework of C3 projections. C3 terminal fields were observed in over 40 different CNS nuclei, spanning all levels of the spinal cord, as well as various medullary, mesencephalic, hypothalamic, thalamic, and telencephalic nuclei. The highest densities of C3 axon varicosities were observed in Lamina X and the intermediolateral cell column of the thoracic spinal cord, as well as the dorsomedial medulla (both commissural and medial nuclei of the solitary tract, area postrema, and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus), ventrolateral periaqueductal gray, dorsal parabrachial nucleus, periventricular and rhomboid nuclei of the thalamus, and paraventricular and periventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. In addition, moderate and sparse projections were observed in many catecholaminergic and serotonergic nuclei, as well as the area anterior and ventral to the third ventricle, Lamina X of the cervical, lumbar, and sacral spinal cord, and various hypothalamic and telencephalic nuclei. The anatomical map of C3 projections detailed in this survey hopes to lay the first steps toward developing a functional framework for this nucleus.
    The Journal of Comparative Neurology 01/2012; 520(11):2352-68. · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dietary deficiency of ω-3 fatty acids (ω-3 DEF) produces hypertension in later life. This study examined the effect of ω-3 DEF on blood pressure and hypothalamic gene expression in young rats, before the development of hypertension, and in older rats following the onset of hypertension. Animals were fed experimental diets that were deficient in ω-3 fatty acids, sufficient in short-chain ω-3 fatty acids or sufficient in short- and long-chain ω-3 fatty acids, from the prenatal period until 10 or 36 weeks-of-age. There was no difference in blood pressure between groups at 10 weeks-of-age; however, at 36 weeks-of-age ω-3 DEF animals were hypertensive in relation to sufficient groups. At 10 weeks, expression of angiotensin-II(1A) receptors and dopamine D(3) receptors were significantly increased in the hypothalamic tissue of ω-3 DEF animals. In contrast, at 36 weeks, α(2a) and β(1) adrenergic receptor expression was significantly reduced in the ω-3 DEF group. Brain docosahexaenoic acid was significantly lower in ω-3 DEF group compared with sufficient groups. This study demonstrates that dietary ω-3 DEF causes changes both in the expression of key genes involved in central blood pressure regulation and in blood pressure. The data may indicate that hypertension resulting from ω-3 DEF is mediated by the central adrenergic system.
    Hypertension Research 11/2011; 35(4):381-7. · 2.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Astrocytes are the major source of angiotensinogen in the brain and play an important role in the brain renin-angiotensin system. Regulating brain angiotensinogen production alters blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. In turn, several physiological and pathological manipulations alter expression of angiotensinogen in brain. Surprisingly, little is known about the factors that regulate astrocytic expression of angiotensinogen. There is evidence that angiotensinogen production in both hepatocytes and cardiac myocytes can be positively regulated via the angiotensin type 1 receptor, but this effect has not yet been studied in astrocytes. Therefore, the aim of this project was to establish whether angiotensin II modulates angiotensinogen production in brain astrocytes. Primary astrocyte cultures, prepared from neonatal C57Bl6 mice, expressed angiotensinogen measured by immunocytochemistry and real-time PCR. Using a variety of approaches we were unable to identify angiotensin receptors on cultured astrocytes. Exposure of cultured astrocytes to angiotensin II also did not affect angiotensinogen expression. When astrocyte cultures were transduced with the angiotensin type 1A receptor, using adenoviral vectors, angiotensin II induced a robust down-regulation (91.4% ± 1.8%, p < 0.01, n = 4) of angiotensinogen gene expression. We conclude that receptors for angiotensin II are present in extremely low levels in astrocytes, and that this concurs with available data in vivo. The signaling pathways activated by the angiotensin type 1A receptor are negatively coupled to angiotensinogen expression and represent a powerful pathway for decreasing expression of this protein, potentially via signaling pathways coupled to Gα(q/11) .
    Journal of Neurochemistry 07/2011; 119(1):18-26. · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increased sympathetic tone in obstructive sleep apnoea results from recurrent episodes of systemic hypoxia and hypercapnia and might be an important contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease. In this study, we re-evaluated the role of a specific population of sympathoexcitatory catecholaminergic C1 neurones of the rostral ventrolateral medulla oblongata in the control of sympathetic vasomotor tone, arterial blood pressure, and hypercapnia-evoked sympathetic and cardiovascular responses. In anaesthetized rats in vivo and perfused rat working heart brainstem preparations in situ, C1 neurones were acutely silenced by application of the insect peptide allatostatin following cell-specific targeting with a lentiviral vector to express the inhibitory Drosophila allatostatin receptor. In anaesthetized rats with denervated peripheral chemoreceptors, acute inhibition of 50% of the C1 neuronal population resulted in ∼50% reduction in renal sympathetic nerve activity and a profound fall in arterial blood pressure (by ∼25 mmHg). However, under these conditions systemic hypercapnia still evoked vigorous sympathetic activation and the slopes of the CO(2)-evoked sympathoexcitatory and cardiovascular responses were not affected by inhibition of C1 neurones. Inhibition of C1 neurones in situ resulted in a reversible fall in perfusion pressure and the amplitude of respiratory-related bursts of thoracic sympathetic nerve activity. These data confirm a fundamental physiological role of medullary catecholaminergic C1 neurones in maintaining resting sympathetic vasomotor tone and arterial blood pressure. However, C1 neurones do not appear to mediate sympathoexcitation evoked by central actions of CO(2).
    Cardiovascular research 05/2011; 91(4):703-10. · 5.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hypertension affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide but the precise cause of elevated blood pressure (BP) cannot be determined in most affected individuals. Nonetheless, blockade of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) lowers BP in the majority of patients with hypertension. Despite its apparent role in hypertension pathogenesis, the key cellular targets of the RAS that control BP have not been clearly identified. Here we demonstrate that RAS actions in the epithelium of the proximal tubule have a critical and nonredundant role in determining the level of BP. Abrogation of AT(1) angiotensin receptor signaling in the proximal tubule alone is sufficient to lower BP, despite intact vascular responses. Elimination of this pathway reduces proximal fluid reabsorption and alters expression of key sodium transporters, modifying pressure-natriuresis and providing substantial protection against hypertension. Thus, effectively targeting epithelial functions of the proximal tubule of the kidney should be a useful therapeutic strategy in hypertension.
    Cell metabolism 04/2011; 13(4):469-75. · 17.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Autonomic Neuroscience-basic & Clinical - AUTON NEUROSCI-BASIC CLIN. 01/2011; 163(1):53-53.
  • Andrew M Allen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Whilst crucial for behavioural and homeostatic responses to environmental challenges, chronic elevation of sympathetic nervous system activity to specific vascular beds is associated with hypertension. Indeed such elevated activity may drive the increase in blood pressure seen in some people and in some experimental models of hypertension. This review discusses the neural circuitry involved in generating and modulating sympathetic efferent nerve activity, focusing on the premotor neurons of the rostral ventrolateral medulla. Neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla show altered responses to angiotensin II in experimental models of hypertension, suggesting that this might be an important node for interaction between these two systems that are crucial for regulation of blood pressure.
    Current Opinion in Pharmacology 01/2011; 11(2):117-23. · 5.44 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Respiratory modulation of autonomic neural activity, with consequent phasic alteration of cardiac and vascular function, has been observed in many species including humans and is considered an index of cardiovascular health. Whilst many factors contribute to this modulation, including for example baroreceptor reflex feedback, it is accepted that a significant component is derived from an interaction within the central nervous system. Functional links between the brainstem circuitry generating the respiratory rhythm and neurons responsible for generate sympathetic and parasympathetic activity to the cardiovascular system have long been hypothesized, although the detailed understanding of these interactions is incomplete. There are several proposed physiological functions for these interactions including the matching of ventilation to cardiac output and tissue blood flow. However, recent observations suggest that altered central respiratory coupling may play a role in the development of hypertension and in the maintenance of elevated levels of sympathetic vasomotor activity in disease. The focus of this review article is to discuss these observations and place them within the context of current understanding of the neural substrates that might be responsible for respiratory-sympathetic coupling.
    Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 11/2010; 174(1-2):89-97. · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the neuronal pathways within the hypothalamus critical in controlling feeding and energy expenditure and projecting to brown adipose tissue (BAT) have been identified and their peptidergic content characterized, endogenous action of such peptides in the control of BAT activity has not been elucidated. Here male Sprague Dawley rats received infusions of either melanin-concentrating hormone antagonist (SNAP-7941) (1 microg/microl x h), orexin A receptor antagonist (SB-334867-A; 1 microg/microl x h), combined SB-334867-A (1 microg/microl x h), and SNAP-7941 (1 microg/microl x h), or melanocortin-3/4 receptor antagonist (SHU9119) (1 microg/microl x h) via an indwelling cannula in the lateral ventricle attached to s.c. implanted osmotic minipump. BAT temperature, physical activity, body weight, food intake, and changes in uncoupling protein (UCP)-1 were measured. SB-334867-A and SNAP-7941 significantly increased BAT temperature and UCP1 expression and reduced food intake and body weight. Combined infusion of SB-334867-A and SNAP-7941 produced a pronounced response that was greater than the addition of the individual effects in all parameters measured. SHU9119 significantly decreased BAT temperature and UCP1 expression and increased feeding and body weight. In a second series of experiments, the effect of SB-334867-A and SNAP-7941 alone or combination on the expression of the Fos protein was determined. SB-334867-A and SNAP-7941 increased Fos expression in key hypothalamic and brainstem feeding-related regions. In combination, these antagonists produced a greater than additive elevation of Fos expression in most of the regions evaluated. These findings support a role for endogenous orexigenic and anorexigenic hypothalamic peptides acting in concert to create a thermogenic tone via BAT activity.
    Endocrinology 09/2010; 151(9):4236-46. · 4.72 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In adult mice we determined whether expression of angiotensin II (Ang II) type 1A receptors (AT(1A)Rs) in C1 neurons mediates the excitation of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM) by Ang II. Blood pressure, heart rate, and sympathetic nerve activity were measured in anesthetized, artificially ventilated wild-type (n=15) and AT(1A)R knockout (AT(1A)(-/-); n=9) mice. Microinjection of Ang II (50 nL of 0.1 to 1.0 mmol/L) into the RVLM induced a dose-related, sympathetically mediated pressor response (maximum of 17+/-2 mm Hg) in wild-type mice. These microinjections had no effect in AT(1A)(-/-) mice. Endogenous AT(1)Rs occur on catecholaminergic C1 neurons in the RVLM. We induced AT(1A)R or green fluorescent protein expression in C1 neurons of AT(1A)(-/-) mice through bilateral microinjection of replication-deficient lentiviruses, with transgene expression under the control of a phox2 transcription factor binding promoter (PRSx8) (Lv-PRSx8-AT(1A), n=10, and Lv-PRSx8-GFP, n=5). Transgene expression was observed in a significant proportion of RVLM C1 neurons. In anesthetized Lv-PRSx8-AT(1A) injected mice, unilateral RVLM microinjection of Ang II (50 nL of 1 mmol/L) increased blood pressure (17+/-4 mm Hg) and sympathetic nerve activity (155+/-32%). No response to Ang II occurred in Lv-PRSx8-GFP microinjected mice. These results show that Ang II-mediated excitation of RVLM neurons in adult mice depends on the AT(1A)R with little or no effect of type 1B or 2 receptors. Expression of the AT(1A)R predominantly in C1 catecholamine neurons restores the response to Ang II in the AT(1A)(-/-) mouse and demonstrates that these neurons are sympathoexcitatory in the mouse.
    Hypertension 07/2010; 56(1):143-50. · 6.87 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
347.52 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1986–2013
    • University of Melbourne
      • • Department of Physiology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2009–2010
    • Monash University (Australia)
      • Department of Physiology
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2003–2007
    • Victoria University Melbourne
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1986–2004
    • Austin Health
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1988
    • Universität Heidelberg
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1987
    • The Royal Children's Hospital
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia