Evaluating the potential for rostral diffusion in the cerebral ventricles using angiotensin II-induced drinking in rats

Brain Res. 2012 Nov 27;1486:62-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.09.040. Epub 2012 Sep 28.


In spite of evidence to the contrary, concern that substances injected into the fourth ventricle (4V) reach forebrain structures challenges the validity of using these injections to evaluate the role of hindbrain structures. Injection of AngII into the lateral ventricle (LV) increases water intake, but a similar response is not observed after injection into the 4V. This alone suggests the requirement of forebrain structures, but the potential for a counteracting, anti-dipsogenic pressor response to hindbrain AngII allows for lingering concern that this competing effect of AngII, rather than lack of forebrain access, underlies the negative result. Here, we used a double cannulation approach (LV and 4V) to evaluate the effect of the AngII receptor antagonist, losartan, on the drinking response to AngII injected into the LV. Injections of losartan into the LV blocked the dipsogenic response to AngII given 5min later into the LV. There was no effect, however, when losartan was injected into 4V, even when we used a dose of losartan that was 25 times greater than needed when injected into the LV. Collectively, these experiments suggest that concerns about diffusion from hindbrain ventricles to forebrain structures are overstated and can be circumvented using proper dose and timing of injections. Moreover, these data provide additional support to the existing literature showing that forebrain structures are key sites in the stimulation of drinking behavior by AngII.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / administration & dosage*
  • Angiotensin II / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Ventricles / drug effects*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Drinking Behavior / drug effects*
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Losartan / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Prosencephalon / drug effects
  • Prosencephalon / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Angiotensin II
  • Losartan