Elevated nerve growth factor levels in young spontaneously hypertensive rats.
It is generally agreed that sympathetic innervation of vascular tissues in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) is greater than that existing in vascular tissues from normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. One factor responsible for regulation of the growth of peripheral sympathetic nerves is the peptide nerve growth factor, which is released from effector cells. In the present study, an enzyme immunoassay was used to measure nerve growth factor levels in mesenteric arteries (densely innervated) and aortas (sparsely innervated) from both young (20-day-old) and mature (6-month-old) SHR and WKY rats. The nerve growth factor content of mesenteric arteries and aortas from 20-day-old SHR was significantly greater than that present in corresponding tissues from WKY rats. In contrast, the nerve growth factor content found in mesenteric arteries and aortas of adult SHR did not differ significantly from that found in the corresponding adult WKY rat tissues. Moreover, when the tissues were obtained from adult animals, nerve growth factor levels were substantially higher in mesenteric arteries compared with aortas, regardless of the rat strain. These results support the hypothesis that the greater nerve growth factor content of vascular tissues from young SHR is involved in the early increased sympathetic innervation of blood vessels in this animal model of hypertension.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association