Major Contribution of the Medial Amygdala to Hypertension in BPH/2J Genetically Hypertensive Mice
BPH/2J mice are recognized as a neurogenic model of hypertension primarily based on overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and greater neuronal activity in key autonomic cardiovascular regulatory brain regions. The medial amygdala (MeAm) is a forebrain region that integrates the autonomic response to stress and is the only region found to have greater Fos during the night and daytime in BPH/2J compared with BPN/3J mice. To determine the contribution of the MeAm to hypertension, the effect of neuronal ablation on blood pressure (BP) was assessed in BPH/2J (n=7) and normotensive BPN/3J mice (n=7). Mice were preimplanted with radiotelemetry devices to measure 24-hour BP and cardiovascular responses to stress, before and 1 to 3 weeks after bilateral lesions of the MeAm. Baseline BP was 121±4 mm Hg in BPH/2J and 101±2 mm Hg in BPN/3J mice (Pstrain<0.001). MeAm lesions reduced BP by 11±2 mm Hg in BPH/2J mice (Plesion<0.001) but had no effect in BPN/3J mice. The hypotensive effect of lesions in BPH/2J mice was similar during both day and night, suggesting that the MeAm has tonic effects on BP, but the pressor response to stress was maintained in both strains. Midfrequency BP power was attenuated in both strains (Plesion<0.05) and the depressor responses to pentolinium after enalaprilat pretreatment was attenuated after lesions in BPH/2J mice (Plesion<0.001; n=3). These findings indicate that the MeAm provides a tonic contribution to hypertension in BPH/2J mice, which is independent of its role in stress reactivity or circadian BP influences.
- Received October 15, 2013.
- Revision received November 6, 2013.
- Accepted December 9, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.