Effect of l-dopa on sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure in the spontaneously hypertensive rat.
We examined the effect of L-Dopa, after peripheral L-amino acid decarboxylase inhibition, on sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) and blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and in normotensive control rats. L-Dopa reduced SNA in both groups of animals. The SHRs were significantly more sensitive to the depressor effect of L-dopa than were the control animals, the threshold dose for reduction of SNA being 3 mg/kg in the SHR and 15 mg/kg in control rats. Similarly, the magnitude of inhibition of SNA was substantially greater in the SHR than in normotensive rats. The reduction in SNA in the SHR accompanied by a parallel fall in blood pressure. In contrast, blood pressure in control rats did not change significantly, even though SNA was diminished. Studies of the penetration of L-dopa into the cerebral parenchyma revealed that equivalent amounts of the amino acid entered the brains of the two groups of rats. These results suggest that the SHRs are more sensitive to the SNA-inhibiting effects of L-dopa than are normotensive rats. In addition, they confirm our previous suggestion that excessive SNA plays a causative role in the hypertension of the SHR.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association