Central and peripheral adrenergic mechanisms in the development of deoxycorticosterone-saline hypertension in rats.
The role of the sympathetic nervous system in the development of deoxycorticosterone-sodium chloride (DOCA-saline) hypertension was investigated by measuring plasma levels of norepinephrine, total catecholamines, and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity at intervals after the initiation of the DOCA-saline regimen. Plasma norepinephrine was significantly higher in DOCA-saline-treated rats at 4 and 7 weeks and in rats treated with saline alone at 4 weeks compared with that in untreated controls. Total plasma catecholamine levels (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase activity were similar in hypertensive rats, untreated controls, and rats that received either DOCA or saline alone. The increases in plasma norepinephrine levels may have resulted from centrally mediated increases in peripheral sympathetic neuronal activity, since the destruction of central catecholaminergic neurons with intracerebroventricularly administered 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) prevented both the DOCA-saline-induced rise in blood pressure and the increases in plasma norepinephrine. Rats treated with 6-OHDA consistently drank less water or saline than did vehicle-treated controls. The actions of centrally administered 6-OHDA on blood pressure and plasma norepinephrine levels were not secondary to a reduction in salt intake, however, since intact rats given a similar reduced saline intake became hypertensive and demonstrated elevated plasma norepinephrine concentrations. Chronic salt loading may cause a centrally mediated increase in peripheral sympathetic neuronal activity with raised plasma concentrations of norepinephrine. The increased adrenergic activity in the presence of mineralocorticoid-induced sodium retention leads to the development of hypertension.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association