Role of afferent renal nerves in spontaneous hypertension in rats.
In the present study we examined sympathetic function and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity in adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) after a selective transection of afferent renal nerves in the prehypertensive and established phases of hypertension. Renal deafferentation performed between 3 and 4 weeks after birth did not influence the course of the development of high blood pressure when compared with sham-operated rats. Mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and plasma norepinephrine concentrations were similar in both groups when measured at 13 weeks after renal deafferentation. However, blood pressure responses to ganglionic blockade with hexamethonium were significantly reduced in the renal deafferented SHR. Baroreceptor reflex sensitivity, assessed by heart rate responses to blood pressure changes induced by phenylephrine and nitroprusside, was significantly enhanced in these rats. When renal deafferentation was performed in adult SHR with established hypertension, mean arterial pressure decreased slightly but significantly by 5%. Heart rate, plasma norepinephrine concentrations, and responses to hexamethonium were not affected by this procedure. However, in the renal deafferented adult SHR, heart rate responses to phenylephrine but not to nitroprusside were significantly increased. Thus, in contrast to efferent renal nerves, afferent renal nerves do not play an important role in the development and maintenance of high blood pressure in SHR, but may contribute to the mechanisms that alter sympathetic function and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity in SHR during the development of hypertension.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association