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Oxytocin antagonist disrupts hypotension-evoked renin secretion and other responses in conscious rats.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Previous experiments have indicated that arterial hypotension increases plasma oxytocin (OT) levels in rats and that OT infused intravenously causes an increase in plasma renin activity (PRA). The goal of the present study was to determine whether systemic administration of an OT receptor antagonist would attenuate the increase in PRA that is normally evoked by arterial hypotension in rats. In conscious male rats, intravenous injection of hydralazine or diazoxide produced sustained hypotension and evoked a significant increase in PRA, as expected. Intravenous infusion of an OT receptor antagonist did not alter the hypotension induced by hydralazine or diazoxide, but it did markedly blunt the induced increase in PRA. The OT receptor antagonist also blunted the hypotension-evoked increase in heart rate and plasma vasopressin levels, suggesting that the antagonist may have generally disrupted afferent signaling of hypotension. Thus hypotension-evoked OT secretion may contribute to cardiovascular homeostasis by enhancing baroreceptor signals that stimulate increases in renin secretion, vasopressin secretion, and heart rate during arterial hypotension in rats.

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