This study attempted to investigate the possible involvement of the brain stem noradrenergic system in the development of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Steady-state norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentrations and norepinephrine turnover were determined in the individual brain stem nuclei using high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Decreased norepinephrine contents in the nucleus tractus solitarii in spontaneously hypertensive rats compared with Wistar-Kyoto rats at the age of 4, 8, and 16 weeks were demonstrated. In later stages (8 and 16 weeks), increased norepinephrine levels were observed in the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis, the A1 and A5 areas. Norepinephrine turnover was not different between spontaneously hypertensive rats and Wistar-Kyoto rats in the nucleus tractus solitarii at the age of 4 and 16 weeks and increased in the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis of spontaneously hypertensive rats at 16 weeks. Our results indicate that altered norepinephrine metabolism in the specific brain stem nuclei, especially the consistently decreased norepinephrine in the nucleus tractus solitarii of spontaneously hypertensive rats, contribute to the development of genetic hypertension.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience