Angiotensin II (AngII) plays a key role in maintaining body fluid homeostasis. The physiological and behavioral effects of central AngII include increased blood pressure and fluid intake. In vitro experiments demonstrate that repeated exposure to AngII reduces the efficacy of subsequent AngII, and behavioral studies indicate that prior icv AngII administration reduces the dipsogenic response to AngII administered later. Specifically, rats given a treatment regimen of three icv injections of a large dose of AngII, each separated by 20 min, drink less water in response to a test injection of AngII than do vehicle-treated controls given the same test injection. The present studies were designed to test three potential explanations for the reduced dipsogenic potency of AngII after repeated administration. To this end, we tested for motor impairment caused by repeated injections of AngII, for a possible role of visceral distress or illness, and for differences in the pressor response to the final test injection of AngII.We found that repeated injections of AngII neither affected drinking stimulated by carbachol nor did they produce a conditioned flavor avoidance. Furthermore, we found no evidence that differences in the pressor response to the final test injection of AngII accounted for the difference in intake. In light of these findings, we are able to reject these three explanations for the observed behavioral desensitization, and, we suggest instead that the mechanism for this phenomenon may be at the level of the receptor.
Physiology & Behavior
Vento, Peter J.; Myers, Kevin P.; and Daniels, Derek. "Investigation into the Specificity of Angiotensin II-induced Behavioral Desensitization." Physiology & Behavior (2012) : 1076-1081.