Changes in central catecholaminergic neurons in the spontaneously (genetic) hypertensive rat.
Catecholamines and catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes have been examined in specific brain areas during the development of spontaneously (genetic) hypertensive (SH) rats. Changes in catecholamine metabolism were localized to regions of the brain implicated in the regulation of blood pressure. Norepinephrine levels and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activities were decreased in specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and in the nucleus interstitialis striae terminalis ventralis, in both young and adult rats. The decrease in the formation of norepinephrine can result in a reduced activation of central alpha-adrenergic receptors which may be related causally to the onset of hypertension. The activity of the epinephrine-forming enzyme, phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT), was increased in the A1 and A2 areas of the brainstem in young SH rats, but it was normal in adult hypertensive animals. These results implicate adrenergic neurons in the brainstem and noradrenergic neurons in the hypothalamus in the development of spontaneous (genetic) hypertension in rats.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association