Local renin-angiotensin system in the pineal gland

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Mar 1;54(2):237-42. doi: 10.1016/s0169-328x(97)00339-2.


Besides the classical endocrine renin-angiotensin system (RAS), a local RAS has been described also in the brain. We attempted to clarify the existence of a local RAS in the pineal gland. Through the use of a ribonuclease protection assay, it proved possible to detect the mRNA for angiotensinogen (AOGEN), for the angiotensin receptor type 1A (AT1a) and 1B (AT1b) and for the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in pineal glands from rats. Renin mRNA, however, could not be found by this method. By in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry, AOGEN mRNA was co-localized with the astrocyte marker glial fibrillary acidic protein. AT1b mRNA expression exceeded the expression of AT1a mRNA and was co-localized with the pinealocyte-specific tryptophan hydroxylase. Thus, in the mammalian pineal gland there is a local formation of the components of the RAS. The presence of angiotensin II receptors further substantiates a role for angiotensins and the pineal RAS in the physiology of this gland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensinogen / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Genetic Code
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • Pineal Gland / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Angiotensin / genetics*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology*
  • Ribonucleases


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Angiotensin
  • Angiotensinogen
  • Ribonucleases
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A