Angiotensin II Induces Water Absorption Behavior in Two Species of Desert Anurans

Catherine R. Propper, William E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The octapeptide, angiotensin II (A-II), induces drinking behavior in several vertebrate species; however, relatively little is understood about A-II-induced thirst in amphibians. Scaphiopus couchii and Bufo cognatus were dehydrated to 90% of their ad libitum weight. This level of dehydration was sufficient to induce water absorption response (WR) behavior in both species. Fully hydrated toads injected intraperitoneally with A-II exhibited a significant amount of WR behavior. The minimum effective dose for inducing WR behavior was 10 μg/100 g-animal for S. couchii and 100 μg/100 g-animal for B. cognatus. When dehydrated toads were treated with the A-II receptor antagonist, Thr8-saralasin, S. couchii, exhibited a significant increase in WR behavior, while B. cognatus did not respond behaviorally. Finally, treatment of dehydrated toads with captopril, a compound that inhibits conversion of angiotensin I to A-II, did not significantly affect WR behavior in either species. These results support other findings that A-II may be involved in WR behavior in amphibians. However, the failure of Thr2-saralasin or captopril to inhibit WR behavior in dehydrated toads suggests that the receptor mechanisms involved in thirst regulation in toads may be different from those in mammals, and the renin-angiotensin system may not be the only potential mediator of WR behavior in these species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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