The arterial baroreceptor reflex is the major feedback control system that acts to stabilize blood pressure. Abnormalities of this reflex are considered to be an underlying mechanism in the cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and heart failure. There is accumulating evidence, however, that central nervous system mechanisms are involved in the enhanced sympathetic drive that occurs in these disease states. This article reviews studies performed in our laboratory in which a gene transfer technique, in combination with other methods, was used to determine the functional role of the central control of cardiovascular regulation. We developed a technique to transfer adenovirus vectors encoding specific genes into the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) or the rostral ventral medulla (RVLM) of rats in vivo. We applied this technique to hypertensive rats as well as in mice with heart failure to explore the pathophysiological significance of nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, and Rho-kinase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience