GABA-A Function and Receptor Binding in the Paraventricular Nucleus in Chronic Renal Wrap Hypertension
The onset of renal wrap hypertension is associated with a reduced tonic GABA inhibition in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) on the sympathetic nervous system. This reduced functional inhibition occurs without a change in GABA-A receptor binding in the PVN. The goal of the present study was to determine if GABAergic transmission and GABA binding is altered in chronic renal wrap hypertensive rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were made hypertensive or sham-operated. Four weeks later, animals were prepared with femoral artery catheters for the measurement of arterial pressure. Subgroups were also prepared with bilateral cannulae directed at the PVN. The renal wrap rats had higher mean arterial pressure (MAP): 139±4 mmHg vs.113±2 mmHg, but heart rate (HR) was not different (354±12 bpm vs. 369±6 bpm) as compared to control animals. Administration of the GABA-A antagonist, bicuculline, into the PVN caused a greater increase in MAP and HR in wrap animals (25±2 mmHg and 150±30 bpm) compared to sham operated rats (16±2 mmHg and 89±12 bpm). GABA-A binding sites in the PVN were estimated using in vivo autoradiography. [3H]-Flunitrazepam was used as the receptor ligand. Magnocellular neurons of the PVN showed a higher density of receptors than other areas of the nucleus. However, the number of binding sites was not different between normotensive and hypertensive rats in either the high density (1825±56 vs. 1756±41 fmol/mg protein) or low density (1454±26 vs. 1433±57 fmol/mg protein) regions of PVN. These data indicate that the inhibition by GABA in the PVN is augmented in the chronic stage of hypertension, and appears to be unrelated to a change in the number of GABA binding sites. The increased GABAergic inhibition is in contrast to the reduced inhibition that has been observed during the onset of hypertension.