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Chronically elevated angiotensin II is a widely-established contributor to hypertension and heart failure via its action on the kidneys and vasculature. It also augments the activity of peripheral sympathetic nerves through activation of presynaptic angiotensin II receptors, thus contributing to sympathetic over-activity. Although some cells can synthesise angiotensin II locally, it is not known if this machinery is present in neurons closely coupled to the heart. Using a combination of RNA sequencing and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, we demonstrate evidence for a renin-angiotensin synthesis pathway within human and rat sympathetic stellate ganglia, where significant alterations were observed in the spontaneously hypertensive rat stellate ganglia compared with Wistar stellates. We also used Förster Resonance Energy Transfer to demonstrate that administration of angiotensin II and angiotensin 1-7 peptides significantly elevate cyclic guanosine monophosphate in the rat stellate ganglia. Whether the release of angiotensin peptides from the sympathetic stellate ganglia alters neurotransmission and/or exacerbates cardiac dysfunction in states associated with sympathetic over activity remains to be established.

Original publication




Journal article


J Mol Cell Cardiol

Publication Date





234 - 243


Angiotensin, Autonomic nervous system, Hypertension, Stellate ganglia, Sympathetic