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J Vis Exp. 2018 Sep 11;(139). doi: 10.3791/58205.

Quantifying Acute Changes in Renal Sympathetic Nerve Activity in Response to Central Nervous System Manipulations in Anesthetized Rats.

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Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago;
Department of Anesthesiology, Medical College of Wisconsin and Zablocki VA Medical Center.


Renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) and mean arterial pressure are important parameters in cardiovascular and autonomic research; however, there are limited resources directing scientists in the techniques for measuring and analyzing these variables. This protocol describes the methods for measuring RSNA and mean arterial pressure in anesthetized rats. The protocol also includes the approaches for accessing the brain during RSNA recordings for central nervous system (CNS) manipulations. The RSNA recording technique is compatible with pharmacologic, optogenetic, or electrical stimulation of the CNS. The approach is useful when an investigator will measure short-term (min to h) autonomic responses in non-survival experiments to correlate anatomically with CNS nuclei. The approach is not intended to be used to obtain chronic (survival) recordings of RSNA in rats. Discharges in RSNA, averaged rectified RSNA, and mean arterial pressure can be quantified and analyzed further using parametric statistical tests. Methods for obtaining venous access, recording mean arterial pressure telemetrically, and brain fixation for future histological analysis are also described in the article.

[Available on 2019-09-11]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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