The aim of this study was to investigate age-related changes in the density of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-containing nerve fibers in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and the effects of long-term inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system on these changes. An age-related decrease in the density of CGRP-like immunoreactive (LI)-containing nerve fibers but not neuropeptide Y (NPY)-LI-containing sympathetic nerve fibers was found in the mesenteric artery of SHR but not Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). The density of NPY-LI-containing nerve fibers was significantly greater in SHR than in WKY. SHR were treated for 7 weeks with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (0.005% temocapril), angiotensin II type-1 (AT1) receptor antagonist (0.025% losartan), or vasodilator (0.01% hydralazine) in their drinking water. Each drug treatment significantly lowered the systolic blood pressure measured using the tail-cuff method. Long-term treatment of SHR with temocapril and losartan significantly increased the density of CGRP-LI-containing nerve fibers in mesenteric arteries. Furthermore, to clarify the effect of the angiontensin II type-2 (AT2) receptor in the restoration of perivascular nerve innervation, we used the phenol-injured rat model, in which the perivascular nerves are markedly reduced by the topical application of phenol. Activation of AT2R significantly restored CGRP-LI innervation in phenol-injured rats. These results suggest that selective stimulation of AT2 receptors facilitates reinnervation of mesenteric perivascular CGRP-containing nerves.
- Angiotensin II type 2 receptor
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Nerve regeneration
- Renin-angiotensin system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science