Hormonal control of angiotensinogen production.
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system appears to be under neural and hormonal control. Plasma angiotensinogen concentration is elevated in Cushing's disease, during pregnancy and in women taking oral contraceptives. An in vitro liver slice system was used to study the hormonal control of angiotensinogen synthesis and release in the rat. Dexamethasone administration in vivo resulted in increase in the in vitro rate of release of angiotensinogen by liver slices into the incubation media. This increase was inhibited by actinomycin D, an inhibitor of protein synthesis and vincristine which blocks secretion. Similarly, ethinyl estradiol treatment resulted in a 50% increase in angiotensinogen production. Hyperthyroid state was achieved by injecting rats with L-thyroxine daily for seven days. Hepatic production rate of angiotensinogen rose 21/2-fold above control and was accompanied by increases in plasma angiotensinogen concentration and plasma renin activity. In contrast, plasma angiotensinogen concentration and plasma renin activity were reduced in thyroidectomized rats. The rate of angiotensinogen production by liver slices of these rats decreased by five-fold below that of intact animals. These changes were largely corrected when thyroidectomized rats were treated with replacement doses of L-thyroxine. We conclude that hepatic angiotensinogen biosynthesis is under hormonal control. Glucocorticoid, estrogen and thyroid hormones all stimulate angiotensinogen production. These results may in part explain the pathogenesis of hypertension associated with certain disease states.
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