1. To investigate the relative roles of angiotensin II (AII) and des-Asp1-angiotensin II (angiotensin III) in the control of blood pressure and aldosterone release, the effects of seven angiotensin agonists on mean arterial blood pressure and serum aldosterone concentrations were compared in normal and sodium-depleted, conscious rats.
2. In normal rats, angiotensin I, α-Asp1-angiotensin II, β-Asp1-angiotensin II, and angiotensin II-amide were equipotent in elevating mean arterial blood pressure. Angiotensin III, des-Asp1-angiotensin I, and poly-O-acetylserine-angiotensin II were 25%, 25%, and 41% as potent as angiotensin II, respectively. After sodium depletion, pressor responses to these angiotensin peptides were reduced approximately 60–80% when compared with control responses. In contrast, pressor responses to noradrenaline were not significantly affected by sodium depletion.
3. Angiotensin II, β-Asp1-angiotensin II, angiotensin II-amide, and angiotensin III were equipotent in increasing serum aldosterone concentrations in normal animals. Angiotensin I was 59% and des-Asp1-angiotensin I only 5% as potent as angiotensin II in their abilities to release aldosterone. After sodium depletion, control serum aldosterone concentrations increased as did the slope of the dose—response curve for each angiotensin peptide. Angiotensin II was the most potent steroidogenic peptide in sodium-depleted rats with angiotensin III and β-Asp1-angiotensin II being 27%, angiotensin I 7%, angiotensin II-amide 3%, and des-Asp1-angiotensin I 1% as potent as angiotensin II in releasing aldosterone. Poly-O-acetylserine-angiotensin II has less steroidogenic effect than angiotensin II or III in both normal and sodium-depleted animals.
4. Infusions of the angiotensin II antagonist, Sar1-Ile8-angiotensin II, and the angiotensin III antagonist, Ile7-angiotensin III, enhanced aldosterone release in normal rats without altering blood pressure. After sodium depletion, Sar1-Ile8-angiotensin II decreased blood pressure without affecting aldosterone release whereas Ile7-angiotensin III diminished aldosterone release without altering blood pressure.
5. These data suggest that angiotensin II, independent of its conversion into angiotensin III, is an important regulator of steroidogenesis in the rat in normal sodium states. In sodium depletion, the octapeptide retains significant steroidogenic activity; however, the contribution of angiotensin III to its steroidogenic effects is increased.