Pressor and depressor aspects of vasopressin in the spontaneously hypertensive rat
Balakrishnan, Suchitra Murali
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The work reported in this thesis is an investigation of certain aspects of both the blood pressure (BP) elevating properties and BP lowering properties of arginine vasopressin (AVP). The hypothesis that endothelin (ET) contributes to the exaggerated pressor responsiveness of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) to AVP was tested by comparing the changes of BP, cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral conductance (TPC) to AVP in SHR to those in Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) both in the presence and absence of bosentan, a non-selective ET antagonist. Bosentan antagonized the BP responses to exogenous ET-1 in a competitive fashion. The pressor effects of AVP and Ang II were exaggerated in the SHR compared to WKY. Except for the highest dose of AVP, pre-treatment with bosentan blunted the increases in BP and the decreases in total peripheral conductance (TPC) evoked by AVP in the SHR, but not in the WKY. In contrast to AVP, bosentan blunted the increases in BP evoked by lower doses of Ang II in both strains, although the effect was more pronounced in the SHR. These results suggest that ET contributes to the hemodynamic effects of AVP in the SHR and to the effects of Ang II in both strains. The findings support the hypothesis that ET contributes to the exaggerated pressor responsiveness of SHR to AVP. Cessation of a 3 hour infusion of AVP (20 ng/kg/min) results in a dramatic and prolonged decrease in BP below pre-infusion basal levels in hypertensive rats, but not in normotensive control rats. This phenomenon has been termed the "withdrawal-induced antihypertensive phenomenon" (WAP). In order to determine the time course of the WAP, and the role of CO and TPC in the WAP, BP was recorded by radiotelemetry and CO was recorded from aonic flowprobes in conscious unrestrained rats before, during, and after a 3 hr i.v. infusion of 20 ng/kg/min of AVP. Baseline mean arterial BP values were lower, and the magnitude of the WAP was less in SHR when BP was recorded with radiotelemetric implants than in another group in which BP was recorded with conventional externalized femoral arterial catheters. Strikingly, absolute BP values recorded both during and after the AVP infusion were similar in the two groups. BP remained decreased for several days in SHR infused with AVP with complete recovery requiring 6-7 days. In rats instrumented with aortic flow probes, the fall in pressure following cessation of the AVP infusion was associated with a large decrease in CO below control levels in the SHR. The time-course of the CO responses approximated the time-course of the pressure responses. These results lead to the following conclusions: firstly, telemetry is a superior method for recording BP in hypertensive animals, and the lower magnitude of the WAP was probably related to the lower basal BPs recorded by this method; secondly, the mechanism accounting for the WAP must be of a long duration; thirdly, the WAP is mediated by a fall in CO and not by an increase in TPC. In conclusion, the results of the thesis support the hypothesis that ET contributes to the BP elevating properties of AVP and, consequently, the exaggerated pressor responsiveness of SHR to the peptide, and that the BP lowering properties of AVP are mediated by a fall in CO.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeMcNeill, J. Robert
Copyright DateSeptember 1996