Changes in paraventricular vasopressin and oxytocin during the development of spontaneous hypertension.
The potential role of central neuroendocrine changes in the development of spontaneous hypertension was evaluated. The developmental changes in blood pressure and hypothalamic and plasma levels of vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) were determined in groups of SHR and WKY animals from 3 to 24 weeks of age. Hypothalamic OT content was significantly lower in 3-, 6-, and 12-week-old SHR rats compared to age-matched WKY animals. Hypothalamic AVP content was not different at 3 weeks of age, but was lower in the SHRs at 6 and 12 weeks. To localize strain differences in AVP and OT, specific hypothalamic nuclei were removed from 300 microns frozen brain sections, and hormone content measured. Paraventricular AVP and OT content was lower in the SHRs which had increased blood pressure (6, 12, and 24 weeks of age) but not in the prehypertensive groups (3 weeks of age). Neuropeptide content was unchanged in the supraoptic nucleus or median eminence. Plasma levels of AVP were increased in the SHR, while OT was unchanged. Thus, genetic hypertension is associated with specific and localized changes in hypothalamic AVP and OT. The fact that the peptide deficit occurred in the paraventricular nucleus, a region thought to be involved in the control of autonomic function, may have important implications in terms of the pathogenesis of hypertension.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association