Interaction Between Sympathetic Nervous System and Adrenal Medulla in the Control of Cardiovascular Changes in Hypertension
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The role of the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal medulla in the development of cardiovascular changes and hypertension was studied in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs), and the results compared with age-matched normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. Sympathectomy was initiated in newborn rats through daily injection with antiserum to nerve growth factor for 1 week, followed by daily injection with guanethidine for 3 weeks. Removal of the adrenal medulla was carried out in 4-week-old rats after the last guanethidine injection. Such a combination treatment was effective in permanently preventing the development of hypertension in the SHRs, and the blood pressure was maintained at the level of WKY rats. The heart rate of the SHRs and WKY rats was not affected by such treatment. Hypertrophy of the heart and of the vessel wall in the mesenteric arteries was also prevented by such treatment. We conclude that in the SHR, the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal medulla are essential for the development of cardiovascular changes and hypertension.
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