It has been shown that nitric oxide in the brain stem plays an important role in the control of sympathetic nerve activity. We examined the role of endogenous nitric oxide in the brain stem in the rapid central adaptation of baroreflex control of sympathetic nerve activity in anesthetized rabbits. Bilateral carotid sinuses were isolated, and a stepwise increase in pressure of 25 or 50 mm Hg for 50 to 60 seconds was applied to the carotid sinuses while the arterial pressure and renal sympathetic nerve activity were recorded. The renal sympathetic nerve activity was inhibited by the stepwise increase in carotid sinus pressure, but thereafter it gradually returned toward the baseline level despite the fact that carotid sinus pressure was kept constant. This procedure was performed after intracisternal injection of Nomega -nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 8 micro mol), Nomega -nitro-D-arginine methyl ester (D-NAME, 8 micro mol), L-arginine (40 micro mol), or the vehicle solution. The magnitude of the immediate and maximal inhibition of renal sympathetic nerve activity caused by a stepwise increase in carotid sinus pressure was similar between the vehicle and L-NAME treatment, but the rate of recovery of the renal sympathetic nerve activity after immediate inhibition was faster after L-NAME than after vehicle. L-Arginine reversed the effects of L-NAME. However, D-NAME or L-arginine alone had no such effects on the rate of recovery of the nerve activity. These results thus suggest that endogenous nitric oxide in the brain stem attenuates rapid adaptation of the arterial baroreflex control of the sympathetic nerve activity in rabbits. (Hypertension. 1998;31[part 1]:27-31.).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine