Administration of angiotensin II into the vertebral circulation increases peripheral blood pressure. This hypertensive action, mediated by the central nervous system, is primarily the result of an increase in central efferent sympathetic activity going to the periphery. The area postrema of the caudal medulla appears to be the structure responsible for the central cardiovascular actions of angiotensin II.
Angiotensin II produces changes in body hydration and thirst by a direct action in the central nervous system. The administration of angiotensin II into the sep-tal, anterior hypothalamic, and medial preoptic areas stimulates drinking behavior in several species. Part of the volume response also may be caused by the antina-triuretic and antidiuretic effects of angiotensin II.
Angiotensin II, administered into the central nervous system, increases the release of luteinizing hormone, adrenocortical hormone, thyroid-releasing hormone, (3-endorphin, vasopressin, and oxytocin from the anterior pituitary. In contrast, centrally administered angiotensin II inhibits the release of anterior pituitary growth hormone and prolactin.
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