Chronic central versus peripheral ouabain, blood pressure, and sympathetic activity in rats.
To assess whether chronic ouabain administration causes hypertension by increasing sympathetic activity, we recorded arterial blood pressure and heart rate at rest and after ganglionic blockade in conscious Wistar rats following 10 to 14 days of central or peripheral administration of ouabain. Intracerebroventricular or intravenous infusion of ouabain (10 micrograms/d for both) as well as subcutaneous ouabain pellets (releasing 25 micrograms ouabain/d per pellet) increased mean arterial pressure by 20 to 30 mm Hg and heart rate by 40 to 60 beats per minute. Ouabain pellets increased blood pressure and heart rate in a dose-related manner. After 2 weeks of all ouabain treatments, ouabainlike activity in plasma was not changed but increased significantly in hypothalamus and adrenals. Ouabainlike activity in the adrenals was increased more by intravenous than subcutaneous or intracerebroventricular ouabain treatment, but the different treatment modes caused similar increases in the hypothalamus. Concomitant central infusion of antibody Fab fragments against ouabain prevented the ouabain pellet-induced increases in blood pressure and heart rate. Ganglionic blockade by intravenous hexamethonium normalized blood pressure and heart rate in ouabain-treated rats. These data suggest that in normotensive rats exogenous ouabain, regardless of the mode of administration, may act centrally to cause sympathoexcitation and thus hypertension.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association