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J Physiol Biochem. 2011 Sep;67(3):427-35. doi: 10.1007/s13105-011-0093-3. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Role of alpha adrenoceptors and nitric oxide on cardiovascular responses in acute and chronic hypertension.

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  • 1Pharmacobiology Department, CINVESTAV-IPN, Calz. de los Tenorios 235, Col. Granjas Coapa, Mexico City, Mexico.


The contribution of α-adrenoceptors and nitric oxide (NO) on the alterations of sympathetically mediated cardiovascular responses after acute (AcH) and chronic (ChH) hypertension was evaluated in pithed aortic coarcted hypertensive rats. Pressor and tachycardia response produced by electrical stimulation of preganglionic sympathetic fibers or exogenous noradrenaline (NA) were recorded in the absence and presence of prazosin (α(1)-antagonist), rauwolscine (α(2)-antagonist), or N (G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; an inhibitor of NO synthase). Compared with age-matched sham-operated rats (Nt), the pressor response produced by electrical stimulation or NA was smaller in AcH rats and larger in ChH rats. Prazosin caused a decrease of pressor response elicited by electrical stimulation or NA in all groups. However, this effect was higher in ChH. Rauwolscine produced a similar increase of sympathetically mediated pressor response in Nt and AcH rats. Nevertheless, this antagonist did not affect the sympathetically mediated pressor response in ChH rats. In addition, rauwolscine did not affect the NA-induced pressor response in all groups. The pressor response elicited by L-NAME was larger in all groups compared without L-NAME and in presence of L-arginine. Moreover, L-NAME in the presence of NA increased sympathetically mediated pressor response is in all groups, compared without it or in the presence of L-arginine. Compared with Nt, basally produced NO in aortic rings was increased in AcH but decreased in ChH. Collectively, our data suggest that decreased cardiovascular reactivity in AcH is due to an increase in basally produced NO. In ChH, enhanced cardiovascular response appears to be associated with a decrease in produced NO and an increase in released NA from sympathetic nerves.

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