Reflex regulation of sympathetic activity in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
The influence that the pressure-sensitive receptors in the cardiovascular system have on renal nerve activity and on heart rate was compared in normotensive rats (NTR) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). The cardiovascular receptors were stimulated by raising the blood pressure (BP) with intravenous phenylephrine. The duration of silence in the record of renal sympathetic nerve activity produced by a number of different rises in BP was measured. We found that the pressure that was just able to produce a silence in the nerve activity (threshold pressure) was higher in the SHR (170 mm Hg) than in the NTR (130 mm Hg). Also, comparable rises in BP above the threshold pressure in the SHR and NTR were less effective in the SHR in producing a complete inhibition of sympathetic nerve activity as judged by the short duration of inhibition. In contrast, we found that the changes in heart rate produced by rises in BP above threshold pressure were similar in NTR and SHR although the threshold pressure was somewhat higher in the latter. It was, therefore, concluded that the cardiovascular pressure receptors, apart from being reset to operate at a higher pressure level in the SHR, are less able to inhibit ongoing sympathetic activity than in the NTR. It is suggested that this is most likely due to a high sympathetic activity in the SHR.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association