Sex differences in angiotensin II-induced hypertension

B. Xue, A. K. Johnson, Meredith Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Sex differences in the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease have been described in humans and in animal models. In this paper we will review some of our studies which have as their emphasis the examination of the role of sex differences and sex steroids in modulating the central actions of angiotensin II (ANG II) via interactions with free radicals and nitric oxide, generating pathways within brain circumventricular organs and in central sympathomodulatory systems. Our studies indicate that low-dose infusions of ANG II result in hypertension in wild-type male mice but not in intact wild-type females. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that ANG II-induced hypertension in males is blocked by central infusions of the androgen receptor antagonist, flutamide, and by central infusions of the superoxide dismutase mimetic, tempol. We have also found that, in comparison to females, males show greater levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species in circumventricular organ neurons following long-term ANG II infusions. In female mice, ovariectomy, central blockade of estrogen receptors or total knockout of estrogen α receptors augments the pressor effects of ANG II. Finally, in females but not in males, central blockade of nitric oxide synthase increases the pressor effects of ANG II. Taken together, these results suggest that sex differences and estrogen and testosterone play important roles in the development of ANG II-induced hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-734
Number of pages8
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Angiotensin II
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen α and β receptors
  • Nitric oxide
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Biophysics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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