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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


UGGERE, T.A. et al. The cardiopulmonary reflexes of spontaneously hypertensive rats are normalized after regression of left ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2000, vol.33, n.5, pp.589-594. ISSN 0100-879X.

Cardiopulmonary reflexes are activated via changes in cardiac filling pressure (volume-sensitive reflex) and chemical stimulation (chemosensitive reflex). The sensitivity of the cardiopulmonary reflexes to these stimuli is impaired in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and other models of hypertension and is thought to be associated with cardiac hypertrophy. The present study investigated whether the sensitivity of the cardiopulmonary reflexes in SHR is restored when cardiac hypertrophy and hypertension are reduced by enalapril treatment. Untreated SHR and WKY rats were fed a normal diet. Another groups of rats were treated with enalapril (10 mg kg-1 day-1, mixed in the diet; SHRE or WKYE) for one month. After treatment, the volume-sensitive reflex was evaluated in each group by determining the decrease in magnitude of the efferent renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) produced by acute isotonic saline volume expansion. Chemoreflex sensitivity was evaluated by examining the bradycardia response elicited by phenyldiguanide administration. Cardiac hypertrophy was determined from the left ventricular/body weight (LV/BW) ratio. Volume expansion produced an attenuated renal sympathoinhibitory response in SHR as compared to WKY rats. As compared to the levels observed in normotensive WKY rats, however, enalapril treatment restored the volume expansion-induced decrease in RSNA in SHRE. SHR with established hypertension had a higher LV/BW ratio (45%) as compared to normotensive WKY rats. With enalapril treatment, the LV/BW ratio was reduced to 19% in SHRE. Finally, the reflex-induced bradycardia response produced by phenyldiguanide was significantly attenuated in SHR compared to WKY rats. Unlike the effects on the volume reflex, the sensitivity of the cardiac chemosensitive reflex to phenyldiguanide was not restored by enalapril treatment in SHRE. Taken together, these results indicate that the impairment of the volume-sensitive, but not the chemosensitive, reflex can be restored by treatment of SHR with enalapril. It is possible that by augmenting the gain of the volume-sensitive reflex control of RSNA, enalapril contributed to the reversal of cardiac hypertrophy and normalization of arterial blood pressure in SHR.

Keywords : volume-sensitive reflex; cardiac hypertrophy; chemosensitive reflex; SHR; enalapril.

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