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Mol Med Rep. 2015 Nov;12(5):7116-22. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2015.4315. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Hexamethonium attenuates sympathetic activity and blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, P.R. China.


Sympathetic activity is enhanced in heart failure and hypertensive rats. The aims of the current study were: i) To investigate the association between renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) in response to intravenous injection of the ganglionic blocker hexamethonium; and ii) to determine whether normal Wistar rats and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) differ in their response to hexamethonium. RSNA and MAP were recorded in anaesthetized rats. Intravenous injection of four doses of hexamethonium significantly reduced the RSNA, MAP and heart rate (HR) in the Wistar rats and SHRs. There were no significant differences in the RSNA, MAP or HR between Wistar rats and SHRs at the two lowest doses of hexamethonium. However, the two highest doses of hexamethonium resulted in a greater reduction in the RSNA and MAP in SHRs compared with Wistar rats. There was a significant positive correlation between the alterations in RSNA and MAP in response to the intravenous injection of hexamethonium in the Wistar rats and SHRs. There were no significant differences in the timing of the maximal effects on RSNA, MAP or HR or in recovery following hexamethonium treatment. These results suggest that there is an association between the RSNA and MAP response to intravenous injection of hexamethonium and that the alterations in MAP in response to hexamethonium may be used to evaluate basal sympathetic nerve activity.

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