Augmented sympathetic nerve activity and pressor responsiveness in DOCA hypertensive rats.
Spike potentials in abdominal sympathetic nerves were recorded together with aortic blood pressure before and during electrical stimulation of the posterior hypothalamus in urethane-anesthetized rats. Both the initial rate of sympathetic nerve firing and the subsequent acceleration produced by hypothalamic stimulation were higher in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) hypertensive than in normotensive rats. Pressor responsiveness was generally augmented, but responses to hypothalamic stimulation, were increased far more than those to injected norepinephrine. Vasodepression produced by blocking autonomic ganglia pharmacologically with pentolinium was also more pronounced in DOCA hypertensive rats than in normotensive controls. These results support the conclusion that a centrally induced sympathetic hyperactivity is important for maintaining the blood pressure elevation in rats with established DOCA hypertension.
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